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US University tries to save Deepor Beel
Guwahati | July 19, 2006 2:40:50 PM IST
 
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The North Dakota State University of United States has moved the Ministry of Environment and Forests to protect the unique eco system of Deepor Beel near here.

Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering of the University Achintya Naryan Bezbaruah has taken the lead and started lobbying to save the Deepor Beel, which has been used by the Guwahati Municipal Authorities (GMC) for garbage disposal.

''The most recent act of GMC is contrary to the conservation efforts taken up by various governmental and non-governmental organisations, he said.

Since the last couple of weeks, GMC is dumping city solid waste at Deepor. Such an act on the part of GMC will have serious consequences for the Deepor ecosystem. Solid waste generated by the city's more than 15,00,0000 people will not take long to fill up the vital parts of Deepor Beel.'' The GMC's decision has shocked everyone as the Municipal Authorities do not have any suitable place to dump it nor it has any long term plan to dispose the solid waste through any scientific means.

''The Revenue Department's records show Deepor as a much smaller area with most areas shown as regular government high land. This is one of the issues we have been trying to fix for the last two decades. We have been emphasizing that satellite maps should be used to identify the actual area of the beel,'' the professor said.

''I would request you to impress upon the state government and GMC to stop solid waste dumping at Deepor with immediate effect.

Also, please initiate an effort for the comprehensive management of the beel. Deepor is Ramsar site number 1207 (November 2002)'' Mr Bezbaruah said.

The lake supports threatened species of birds such as spotbilled pelican, lesser adjutant stork, greater adjutant stork, black necked stork, and large whistling teal.

The lake is one of the staging grounds on the migratory flyways for several species. Some of the largest congregations of aquatic birds in Asom can be seen here, particularly in winter. It supports 50 fish species belonging to 19 families.

The diversity and concentration of indigenous freshwater fish species is very high and the natural breeding of some of these species takes place within the beel itself.

Deepor supports an important fishery, providing a means of livelihood to several local families and is used for domestic water supply. Nymphaea nuts, flowers, and other products are harvested from the beel for sale in the local markets.

Adjacent to Rani and Garbhanga reserved forests are part of the social setting for the tribal people living in the Deepor-Rani-Garbhanga area. They collect fodder, firewood, traditional medicine, and food from the forests.

Deepor also serves as temporary storm water storage basin of Guwahati during the rainy season when the Brahmaputra flood water level is high. During this time natural drainage/discharge to the river is not possible and water is stored at Deepor for about six months before letting it go the Brahmaputra through the sluice gate.

''It is important that we incorporate these aspects in our management plan. Man always forms the most important component in an environmental system,'' the University wrote.

UNI MT SP LS RAI1316

 

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