National Orang wildlife park in neglect

Guwahati: The famous Orang wildlife sanctuary in lower Assam is facing an uncertain future because of official apathy. There are no adequate forest staff to man the sanctuary which is a natural habitat for the endangered one-horned rhinos.

Popularly known as the Rajiv Gandhi national park, the sanctuary, situated on the north bank of the Brahmaputra, also hosts some other rare animals. Recently, at least 25 home guards, who had taken leave during Durga Puja, refused to join duty complaining that they had not been paid their regular wages, sources in the wildlife park said. The park has a total forest guard strength of 200, including 68 home guards.

The picturesque park, only a couple of hours` drive from Guwahati, stands in sharp contrast to the Kaziranga National Park, Pabitora game sanctuary and Manas tiger reserve which have attracted funds and attention from the state government.

Similarly, 49 casual staff, who work in 40 different anti-poaching camps, were not paid monthly wages for the last five months.