GUWAHATI: Kaziranga National Park (KNP) became the first national park in the country to be equipped with satellite phones.
10 satellite phone numbers were given to forestry staff by the chief secretary, Jisnu Barua and they were activated.
The decision to arm forest staff at the world famous one-horned rhino park with satellite phones was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma at the KNP on May 27. during which the Minister of Environment and Forests, Parimal Suklaibaidya, Ministers Keshab Mahanta and Atul Bora, director of KNP, deputy commissioners from neighboring districts and other senior officials of the forestry department were present. The measure to equip forestry staff with satellite phones has been taken to strengthen anti-poaching measures.
Satellite phones will be used in the fleet’s six lines with no wireless or poor mobile connectivity.
According to park authorities, the KNP became the first in the country to use satellite phones, as this facility is typically used by law enforcement agencies. The public is prohibited from using satellite phones in India.
The Assam State Disaster Management Authority purchased the ten satellite phones for the KNP at an estimated cost of Rs.16 lakh. BSNL will be the service provider. The park authorities will cover the monthly expenses.
Meanwhile, BSNL trained forestry staff in the use of satellite phones in shadows and grooves where cell phones do not work.
“The communications bottleneck will be removed through the use of satellite phones deep within the park,” said a forestry official.
Forestry and Environment Minister Suklaibaidya thanked the chief minister for his swift initiative to equip forestry staff with satellite phones. “I thank the Chief Minister for realizing the communications bottlenecks and for taking swift action to provide satellite phones to the park. the
satellite phones will be extremely useful for coordination. There should be no obstacles to communication and therefore the use of satellite phones is a necessity in the KNP with a sprawling area. Satellite phones will give forestry staff an advantage over poachers and also in emergencies like floods, ”Suklaibaidya joked.