and cities of Assam are situated in this valley whose length and breadth are 725 kms and 80-100
      kms respectively. Running through a narrow passage at the Meghalaya plateau and Bhutan-
      Arunachal-Himalayas, the valley finally opens out into the North Bengal Plains.
            The second natural division of Assam is the Barak or Surma valley which is surrounded by
      north Cachar, Manipur and Mizoram. This valley is dominated by the Barak river. It flows
      through the valley and finally empties itself to the old bed of Brahmaputra in Bangladesh. This
      valley has hills and ‘Beels’ or lakes in plenty. Flood is a common feature lending the quality of
      fertility to the valley.
            The two valleys are separated by long range of hills. The Karbi Hills and the N.C. Hills are
      located in the south of the Brahmaputra valley. Karbi Hills are a part of the Meghalaya plateau.
      These hills are dotted with plain areas. The average height of this plateau is 600 metres with
      occasional peaks like Chenghehision (1,359 m) and Dunbukso (1,361 m). Greenery is the
      hallmark of these hills, slowly reaching their full height towards the middle of the Dima Hasao
      district, merging with the Barail range, which is the highest hill range in Assam. The elevation of
      the Barail range varies from 1,000 to 1,200 metres above sea level. The south side of the Barail
      range is very steep. It attains a maximum height of 1,953 metres in Mahadeo peak to the east of
      Haflong. This valley is full of dense forest and rare wildlife.
            The state finances have improved considerably. Over the years with industry and businesses
      picking up.
            Assam is endowed with abundant fertile land and water resources with a total geographical
      area of 78,438 sq. km. The mighty river Brahmaputra and the Barak with their 121 small and tiny
      tributaries and branches flow through the two valleys keeping the state fertile and cool all along.
            Assam has achieved 40 per cent increase in the contribution of agriculture to state GDP.
      Rice production has increased to 54.40 lakh MT. Likewise, production of foodgrains has also
      increased from 41.72 lakh MT to 57.22 lakh MT.
      Forest & Wildlife
            Assam has a total 29,282 sq. km. area of forest and tree cover which covers 37.33 per cent
      of total geographical area of the state. It has 13,870 sq. km of Reserved Forests; 3103 sq. km. of
      Proposed Reserved Forests; 5,850 sq. km of Unclassed State forests; and 3,925 sq. km of
      Protected Area Network. (Source: FSI Data-2009 and “Assam 2011”, page-152).
            About 180 species of mammals are found in the state which includes globally threatened
      species such as Golden Langoor, Hoolock Gibbon, Pigmy Hog, Hispid Hare, White-winged
      Wood Duck, Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Elephant, Swamp Deer, Gangetic Dolphin, etc. More than
      800 species of birds and about 195 species of reptiles are found in the state. Strong enforcement
      of wildlife conservation measures have resulted increase in the tiger population of the state. The
      tiger population has risen to 167 in 2014 from 143 during 2010-11. The rhino population in
      Assam stands at 2,624 as per 2015 census. Efforts are also being taken to provide sustainable
      livelihood to the forest communities.