Guwahati, Sep 27: Assam’s Kaziranga National Park will soon have thermal cameras installed at selected locations inside the park to detect any unwanted movements inside the park, including those of the poachers.
Announcing the development, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain said the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had already approved the installation of thermal and non-thermal cameras at vital locations inside the park.
The move is initiated to stop the rampant poaching of the one-horned rhinos in and around the park, which is one of the main tourist attractions of the state and also a UNESCO world heritage site.
“The installation of cameras will be done in the lines of Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand,” he said adding that the cameras would be installed on at least 12 towers at vital locations inside the park. More towers will be set up if needed.
“Some cameras will also be installed in some location in the adjoining Karbi Anglong district. Real-time images from different towers will be accessed at three control rooms – Kaziranga field director’s office at Bokakhat, the principal chief conservator of forest’s (wildlife) office in Guwahati and NTCA office in New Delhi,” he said.
The minister further said that a rapid action team will also be put in place at the Bokakhat control room for coordinating with the staff of anti-poaching camps in case there is poachers’ movement detected by the cameras.
According to official records, a total of 21 one rhinos had already been killed in Kaziranga so far this year.
Hussain said that the NTCA has agreed to fund the project.
The move assumes significance as the central government had recently turned down the state government’s request for sanctioning an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for aerial monitoring of the park to detect poachers due to security reasons.