Guwahati, July 11, 2019:
The Deepor Beel was proposed to be declared as an “eco-sensitive zone” in the year 2015.
The hearing for the proposal was heard by the Department of the Forest. However, even after the passage of more than 3 years of time, no initiatives have been taken to declare it as an “eco-sensitive zone”.
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Rather, a double-track railway is being taken up as the latest pet project of the Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) through the Deepor Beel.
A local activist, Pramod Kalita has informed that the government has been maintaining “double standards” over the matter. Moreover, many infrastructures like towers of the aviation, power supply, etc have been installed in the area which passes directly through the Beel, which is a total violation of the guidelines of an “eco-sensitive zone”.
‘The Beel’ is a great food source and a great breeding ground for a large variety of residential water birds as well as a number of migratory waterfowls, amphibians, reptiles, insects, micro and macrophytes, terrestrial weeds.
The Department of Forests, Assam has listed 170 species of Birds – two critically endangered, one endangered, five vulnerable and four near-threatened such Spot-Billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Greater Adjutant Stork, Black Necked Stork and Large Whistling Teal.
The most notable bird species found in the sanctuary are Kingfishers, Fishing Eagles, a plethora of ducks, Greater Adjutant Stork, Whistling Teal, Open Billed Stork, Shoveler, Pintail, Garganey and high concentration of Pheasant Tail Jacanas.
Some of the largest congregations of aquatic birds in Assam can be seen here, particularly during the winter. Besides its rich fauna, the sanctuary is ideal for an encounter with other wildlife including Hoolock Gibbons, the only ape species in the Indian subcontinent.