Deepor Beel, the State

GUWAHATI, March 19

AZARA, Jan 28

AZARA: The existence of tortoises at Deeper Beel is threatened by some smugglers. It has been learnt that smugglers around the beel catch rare species of tortoises and sell them in the nearby markets. Even though a ban on catching of tortoises is in place, smugglers are selling tortoises weighing between 5-7 kg at the rate of Rs 250-300 per kg.

MIRZA, Sept 28

The Expert Team constituted by the Planning Commission, Government of India, to Review the status of implementation of the National Wetland Conservation and Management Programme (NWCMP) of the Ministry of Environment & Forests, by visiting selected wetlands in the country, made an on-the-spot review and assessment of the Deepor Beel near Guwahati in Assam.

The State Assembly today passed the Guwahati Water Bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Bill, 2008, which aims at saving the city from flash flood by preserving, protecting, conserving, regulating and maintaining Sarusola, Borsola, Silsako and Deepor Beels of the Guwahati metropolitan development area. The legislation seeks to develop these wetlands as natural water reservoirs.

Noted sanitation and drainage expert Dr Binoy Kumar Das is of the opinion that rise in the size of built-up areas is a major cause for the failure of the Guwahati drainage system. Dr Das is one of the architects of the city's 1971 drainage and water supply master plan. Talking to this correspondent, he said that there was no short cut to remove the havoc caused by improper provision of storm drainage in the Guwahati Metropolitan Development (GMD) area.