The representation received from the joint forum of Assam Tea Planters Association, North Eastern Tea Association and Bharatiya Cha Parishad has appealed for declaring tea as a national drink as it is consumed by large sections of people and this would also contribute to its brand building exercise. This was what Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya M. Scindia disclosed in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He said that there is no fixed criteria for according national status to any particular product/commodity. A proposal to declare tea as the national drink of India was earlier examined during 2006 in consultation with the Central Ministries concerned and the States/UTs. He said that the matter was not pursued further as objections were raised by some of the State Governments and it was felt that coffee is a competing beverage and both have respective market shares and declaring one particular beverage as a ‘national drink’ will likely be at the cost of the other.
25 Jan 2008 - 7:36am | editor
Kaziranga National Park, one of the world’s heritage site of late, is buying a bad name - safe haven of poachers, who have killed 21 one horn rhinos within a period of 13 months.
The abode of 1855 one horn rhinos, 86 leopards, 1431 wild buffalos,1246 elephants, several thousand deer, and over 500 species of colourful birds is facing a serious threat of extinction if this continues. Covering an areas of 860 square km, the park is riddled with inadequate arms to face the poachers, fund crunch to uplift it and lack of adequate workers besides the government’s lackadaisical attitude.
There are altogether 68 forest workers aged in between 51 to 60. What is more shocking is that one 9 out of 531 workers are physically capable to deal with the poachers. This is one reason why poaching is still going on.
The park authority has altogether 315 rifles. But for 439 workers. These rifles can be used from 20 metre away only. Of these, 250 rifles need to be repaired immediately and the park authorities are remaining idle.
Another area of concern is the grim fund crunch. The Kaziranga has not received Government fund from the 2005. As a result, 90 per cent if the cars belonging to the Park have been lying in a shamble. Sources here say the park is in the need of Rs 3,97,80,000 to be uplifted.
Sill the flood ravaged roads have yet to be repaired causing much inconvenience for the tourists And yet the Assam government has no fund to uplift these.
What further aggravates the situation is the government’s failure to recruit more workers. The park has one 21 mahuts to run 49 elephants. The anti poaching camps numbering 125 have been falling short of manpower.
Notably, the Kaziranga National Park received the world heritage site status but if it so happens it will be facing an extinction soon.
A group of closed relatives of Ganeshguri blast victims will talk to media tomorrow (May 5) at 3 pm in Guwahati Press Club. Following the arrest of NDFB chief Ranjan Daimary, who is understood to be mastermind of the serial blasts that took place on Oct 30, 2008, these people want to share their views with the journalists.
Assam: The Accord, The Discord – Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty