#LetsSaveDeeporBeel

MoonBy: Rana Pratap Saikia

Not a single soul will deny that Assam’s lone Ramsar site, the ‘Deepor Beel’ is in a deplorable condition. In fact, Inside Northeast has even started a petition to draw attention to the plight of the ‘Beel’ as part of its #LetsSaveDeeporBeel campaign. Now, the question that arises in the mind of all environment-lovers is how to salvage this once-glorious site. A small company from Assam’s Tezpur town, which is widely regarded as the cleanest city in the entire country, might just have the solution!

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The company making the difference in Tezpur is Radiant Skills and Environmental Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which is slowly allowing Tezpur to retain it’s status as the cleanest city in India. Ashok Baruah, the MD of the company, revealed to Inside Northeast how this company is helping Tezpur remain clean, green, and beautiful with proper waste disposal and segregation.

Baruah reveals that he began his environmental crusade (remarkably, without any aid from the Government) when he signed an agreement with Tezpur Municipal Board. A solid waste management plant was lying unused for years like ‘Deepor Beel’ and was taken on lease by Radiant. This is in line with Tezpur history where the first electric supply was started in Assam in 1930 by the Lahiri family, a private company.

First, a survey was carried out to find out how much waste is generated in Tezpur with the help IIT Guwahati. Then, the team from ‘Radiant’ visited Tezpur civilians door-to-door to create awareness about waste management, disposal, and segregation. Then, a roadmap was charted to figure out the entire layout of the city and how the waste would be transported.

Baruah, taking the issue of waste disposal seriously, even organized a street play ‘Ek Notun Dinor Aahban’, (Heralding a New Day) in 45 locations across the city, to better acquaint people with the subject. Then, ‘the waste fighters’ distributed two dustbins to the people — a green (for bio-degradable waste) and blue (for solid wastes). They were also given a manual on how to segregate waste.

Both bio-degradable and non-biodegradable wastes were collected by the company in their iron waste containers, which would immediately head towards the processing plants. What is most interesting is that the garbage would be collected in non-polluting electric rickshaws! “We separate the wastes according to their nature as segregation is of most importance. At the moment, w are covering 11,000 households, and 450 commercial organizations”, Baruah beams.

Baruah also reveals that the company also plans to convert ‘waste to energy’ as part of its new Rs. 450 crore project funded by Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). “I need 100 tonnes of waste to produce 15MW electricity per day day as per the Israeli ‘cold plasma gasification technology’, which converts the solid waste into green power, purified water, and zero carbon fuel”, he says.

While discussing the ‘Deepor Beel’, Baruah says the ‘cold plasma gasification technology’ can help the wetland as well

“The Government should monitor the ‘Deepor Beel’ and I would recommend a Public-Private-Partnership to resolve the issue, as the existing system cannot deal with the waste that is being accumulated there”, Baruah cautions.

Ashok Baruah

The entrepreneur also says that the concerned authorities should deploy people door-to-door to create awareness about the waste segregation in Guwahati which will help the ‘Beel’. “We should change the mindset of the people and inform them. Tezpur is now the cleanest city because are now aware about environmental issues. People have accepted the initiative, and the change”, says the entrepreneur.

Inside Northeast’s Campaign #LetsSaveDeeporBeel is now supported by Oil India Limited (OIL). Join us as we continue the awareness campaign to preserve the only Ramsar site in Assam which is facing immense threats. We need your help to preserve this site of great ecological importance. Join the #LetsSaveDeeporBeel campaign and tweet about it, and do tag us on Twitter. Let’s make some noise!

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