Published on : Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Ranjit Barthakur, business tycoon and wildlife enthusiast wanted to balance concerns about the environment and need for revenue generation through tourism on World Tourism Day. He was an advisor to former chief minister Tarun Gogoi. He strongly opposed the state government’s decision to reopen Kaziranga National Park on October 1 this year. The park remains closed during monsoons and is opened generally in November. He said that opening this prized park in October to visitors would hamper rebirth of foliage and disturb its natural cycles. He said that this move would result in hampering of animal habitats and would destroy tourism. With heavy floods this year, Kaziranga suffered the death of hundreds of big and small animals.
Barthakur, who’s an expert on Kaziranga, said that the state government’s ambitious Awesome Assam brand campaign would be successful in promoting the culture, food, nature and music of the state, but it should also keep the environment concerns in mind. He said that the brand campaign needs to accommodate wildlife preservation and ecological balance within its territory. He also pointed out the controversial eviction drive at this World Heritage Site and said that it should have happened earlier. He announced that an Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum would be held in Guwahati on November 8 and 9 which will be graced by renowned botanist Paul Raven and author Bruce Rich, among others.