National Green Tribunal seeks eco-sensitive zone tag for Assam wetland Deepor Beel

A villager collects seeds from Giant Water Lilies commonly known as Makhana (Euryale ferox) in the Deepor Beel Bird Sanctuary in Guwahati.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Assam government to declare the area around Deepor Beel — a major wetland on the western edge of Guwahati — an eco-sensitive zone.

Deepor Beel is an ‘Important Bird Area’ and a Ramsar Site, with a reserve forest nearby.

Eco-sensitive zone entails declaring up to 10 km around a protected area a buffer zone and restricting industrial and other human activities.

The NGT, in its order on August 19, also directed the government to remove existing encroachment on the wetland, take steps to prohibit any further encroachment and manage a municipal solid waste dumping ground inside Deepor Beel’s system.

The order, based on a petition by environment activist Rohit Choudhury, has also sought an end to the “land utilisation character for a rail track alignment through three elephant corridors – Segunbari, Mikirpara and Matia”. The track runs between the southern edge of Deepor Beel and the reserve forest.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 4:30:05 AM |

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