At a time when entire Assam was cheering with joy with the monumental success of the Rhino Protection Task Force in bringing down the poaching numbers to just one (the lowest ever) in 2021 in Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve, the degree of joy rose to many folds with Chief Minister of Assam Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on 19th January, Friday post the cabinet meeting in Dima Hasao announcing the approval of a mammoth budget of Rs.214.54 crores for setting up Northeast India’s first open space zoo cum wildlife safari in Dholai, Cachar district named as “Barak Valley Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre”. 

From a historic success of rhino conservation to the announcement of the setting up of this centre, the BJP led government in Assam since it’s advent has been keeping wildlife & biodiversity conservation of Assam at it’s highest priority & implementing stringent measures to act against all illegal animal trades.

The open space zoo, being set up at Rajanikhal area of Dholai constituency with an area of 180 hectares has already received the go ahead from Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi & is expected to be completed in next 5 years, Divisional Forest Officer Tejas M informed.

Being executed by Cachar Forest Division & personally monitored by Assam’s Environment & Forests Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, the zoo will majorly have five types of safaris viz. the Rhino Safari highlighting Assam’s one-horned rhinoceros; the Indian Herbivore Safari featuring the sambar deer, brow-antlered deer (Sangai) & the Spotted deer (Chital); the Tiger Safari; the African Animal Mix Safari showcasing giraffe, grant zebra & ostrich & the Lion Safari. In addition, the visitors will get the opportunity to witness a host of other animals including Himalayan Black bear, leopard, Hoolock Gibbon & Stump Tailed Macaque, reptiles & an exotic bird aviary. The bird aviary will include some majestic bird species such as rosy pelican, greater flamingo, white & blue peafowl, white zebra finch, patagonian conure, etc.

Cachar Forest Divison has divided the entire Barak Valley Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre into seven zones including the rescue centre, veterinary section & staff quarter. According to senior forest officials, the rescue centre at this complex shall be of high benefit in serving not only the zoo but also any kind of wildlife needs & emergencies in entire Southern Assam zone. 

Notably, with the completion of the National Highway project under the Bharatmala scheme, this safari centre will be only around 20 minutes drive from Barak Valley’s most important city Silchar.

The cabinet ministers meet of Assam Government is scheduled to be held in March in Silchar & Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma is expected to visit the project site to review the works.

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