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Posted on Nov 14, 04:26PM | UNI
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi turned into an awe-eyed tourist of the state's rich wildlife and green beauty yesterday when he and his wife took a jeep safari and sailed on the Brahmaputra.
Mr Gogoi and his wife Dolly Gogoi visited Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, near Guwahati, to inspect the infrastructure that are being created to attract more tourists in the coming days.
During his visit, the Chief Minister was given a powerpoint presentation of the infrastructure and amenities that are being created to attract more tourists to the sanctuary.
Minister for Environment and Forests Rakibul Hussain, Parliamentary Secretary Bibekananda Dalai, PCCF (Wildlife) Suresh Chand, DC and SP, Morigaon, VK Solanki and Enamul Haque and senior forest officials were present on the occasion.
The forest officials apprised the Chief Minister of the rhino population in One Sanctuary that has gone up from 54 in 1987 to 93 in 2012.
They pointed out that Pobitora recorded zero poaching from 2007-10 with only one rhino falling prey to poachers this year.
They informed the Chief Minister that the tourist inflow to the sanctuary has increased from 8,993 in 2006-07 to 18,779 in 2011-12.
Pobitora was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1998 and brought under Guwahati Wildlife Division in 2006. Under this division also fall Amchang and Deepar Beel sanctuaries. Pobitora has an area of 38.81 sq km.
Mr Gogoi appreciated the slew of measures being taken up to develop infrastructure in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.
He lauded the efforts of the frontline forest staff and officials for protecting the sanctuary and conservation initiatives resulting in increase of rhino population.
Mr Gogoi said the government would focus more on eco-tourism and said, 'Tourism is the biggest money spinner and a great source of employment generation. Our government would focus on eco-tourism as well as river tourism to attract domestic and foreign tourists to the state.' The Chief Minister accompanied by the Forest Minister and senior forest officials went on a jeep safari inside the sanctuary.
Mr Gogoi alighted at two spots to have a close look at the rhinos during the nine-km safari.
The Chief Minister after a brief stopover at the forest lodge, headed for Kajalimukh by road from where he boarded an IWT ferry to Fancy Bazar ferry ghat in Guwahati.
On board the ferry for almost two hours, the Chief Minister enjoyed the spectacular beauty of the majestic Brahmaputra river, its sandy banks with the mountains forming the backdrop.
He pointed that river tourism which possesses tremendous scope would be given added thrust to woo tourists.