13 January 2022.
The Assam Government has recently decided to increase the size of Orang National Park. The park is to be expanded thrice.
About the Expansion plan
- The State is to add 200.32 square kilometre to the Orang National Park.
- The area to be added consists of Brahmaputra river.
- It also includes sandbars and islands of the river.
Why the expansion?
- Tigers and Rhinos are using the islands and sandbars that are being included.
- Orang region in the northern bank of Brahmaputra is essential to Kaziranga Orang Riverine Landscape.
- This is because animals move between the Orang and Kaziranga stretch through these lands.
- This stretch is 180 km. It is a corridor connecting two habitats.
Future plans for Kaziranga – Orang
Gharials became extinct in the region six decades ago. The Assam Government is planning to reintroduce gharial here.
The rhinos and Gangetic Dolphins are to be benefitted greatly with the addition of this extra land. It will also benefit 16 species of turtles.
Orang is a major rhino habitat. It became a tiger reserve in 2016. The other seven national parks in Assam are Dehing Patkai, Dibru – Saikhowa, Manas, Kaziranga, Nameri, Raimona.
Who decides on land for National Park? State or Centre?
- National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are declared under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. On the other hand, the Biosphere reserves are declared under UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme, 1971.
- The Wildlife Protection Act says that the area comprised within the forest as decided by the State Government is declared as the wildlife sanctuary and National Parks.
National Parks – State List or Centre List?
- The National Parks, Wild Life sanctuaries and other wildlife related subjects were moved to Concurrent List.
- Earlier it was under the state list.
- In 1976, the 42nd constitutional amendment moved these subjects to concurrent list.