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Wetlands are commonly branded as Nature’s kidney. Kidney, one of the vital organs of human health, purifies blood by removing toxins and retains substances like water, sugar, aminio acid etc which are boon to human health. So does the wetland for Nature. Unwholesome materials found in water such as excess nutrient and sediments are removed by wetland. Also, removal of industrial and agricultural pollutants and contaminants from water is performed by wetland. Assam boasts 3513 number of wetlands which covers 101231.60 hectre areas, 1.29 percent of total geographical. Here, the writer tries to delve into Deepor Beel wild life sanctuary, the lone wetland of global importance in Assam.

For the water of Deepor Beel pollution was a foreign body 20 years ago. Wild elephant used to shuttle safely between the nearby Rani-Garbhanga reserved forest and the wetland till a decade ago. Everything went smoothly. Now, scenario has changed. Instance of floating dead fish in the water of the wetland has become yearly phenomenon. Crushing of Gentle giants under the wheels of train since the operation of 175-km long Kamakhya-Jogigihapa Railway track has become a matter of serious concern. Killing of other wild fauna like reptile in the track during their course of migration goes unheeded. Yes, solitude of the wetland periphery has been swapped by burgeoning concreted structures and bustling of train and traffic escalation. We have failed to allow the state’s lone Ramsar Site to live up to its global standing. This is the view of Laxman Teron, a resident. Teron, a forest man to his fingertips, is inextricably linked with it. He could not help venturing out to the wetland as well as to the forest landscape at dawn and dusk. So, this man witnesses the changes, the human induced.

Deepor Beel Wild life Sanctuary, 10 km southwest from Guwahati is the important riverine wetlands in the Brahmaputra valley. It extends to over 4.1 square km area. According to the documents submitted to UNESCO, the Beel is sprawled over 40.14 square km during monsoon (inclusive of encroached /reclaimed and developed area of over 30 hectre). Depth of the major storm water storage basin of Guwahati varies from 6 metre to 1.5 metre. Forest department has taken the possession of notified Deepor Beel Wild life Sanctuary on May 17, 2016. Kamrup Metro district administration handed over 3090 bigha, 4 kotha and 17 lesha land of dag numbers 194, 678, 699 and 1156 to forest department. In addition to the core area, Government has preserved 820 bigha and 3 kotha land under Guwahati Water-bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Act, 2008.

Kishore Talukdar

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