Winged winter visitors being killed and sold in open market, says Xatradhikar Jordhan Goswami
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 25: With winged winter visitors flocking in Assam beels and forest areas, the ornithologists here are the busiest ones. They keep counting birds through scientific surveys so as to ascertain their number. However, how long will such birds continue to flock in? A million dollar question!
Dakshinpat Xatra Xatradhikar Jordhan Goswami is worried over an ominous sigl that may spell doom for the migratory bird habitats available in the river island. He was addressing the press in the city today.
According to Goswami, over the years the beels and other wetlands of Majuli were not sold. One of the reasons behind that, according to Goswami, was the question of ‘utility’ of the lands on the verge of being gobbled up by the voracious Brahmaputra. “However, the situation has changed now with the declaration of Majuli as the first Wi-Fi district in Assam. Now people see much value even in the wetlands that have all along been habitats for various migratory birds. Now the wetlands in the river island are being sold in a clandestine way. We may see high-rising shopping malls in these wetlands in the future at the cost of the tural beauty,” Goswami said.
Goswami said: “Dispur is not well aware of the wetlands in the river island and how enticing they are for land grabbers. There’s no provision for the safety and security of migratory birds visiting the river island. Some people are out to mint money by killing and selling migratory birds in the market. They add certain drugs with food for birds so as to make them unconscious after consuming it. When birds consuming the food lie unconscious these unscrupulous lot pick them up and sell them in the open market. The bird sanctuaries in the river island should be well protected for the safety and security of migratory birds.”
Speaking at the press meet, Aranya Suraksha Samiti, Assam (ASSA) president Krish Bora and secretary general Dr. Haricharan Das said: “We do hold a programme every year to welcome migratory birds visiting the State during the winter. This year we’ve carried out a survey to ascertain the number of migratory birds flocking in during this winter. While around 38,000-40,000 birds have arrived in Maguri Motapong Beel in Tinsukia district, 9,000-10,000 birds have arrived in the Rambolia Beel near Dakshinpat Xatra in Majuli. Around 250-300 birds have also arrived in the Mahamaya Forest Reserve in Kokrajhar district. AAU ornithologist Dr. Prabal Saikia-edited newsletter – Green Letter – was also released today. The newsletter has details of bird species found at Dakshinpat Xatra in Majuli.
The Samiti appealed to the Assam Government to identify and survey the wetlands in the State so as to prevent their encroachment. The samiti expressed its concern over the recent incidents of wildlife lost in various incidents like run over by trains, man-animal conflict, electrocution etc. It appealed to the government not to allow recurrence of such incidents in the State in the future.