Deepor Beel has a tale of woe to tell…!
From our Correspondent
AZARA, Nov 19: The winter is delaying, so are migratory birds. Deepor Beel, the known bird sanctuary in Guwahati, is still to host its winged winter visitors. As though, the wait for the avian visitors on the part of the wetland is set to linger long.
The arrival of winter in Assam has been delayed this year, reasons for which are known to meteorologists. Be that as it may, what seems to be a related development is that people of Guwahati are still to see migratory birds flocking the Ramsar Site in the city. This is the time when migratory birds visit this wetland for food and shelter. Bird species, including Mallards and Redisin ducks, Black-headed ibis, Northern lakewin, Rim Shrever, Open Stork, Chen Dipper and others do come here from Siberia, North America and Trance Himalayas where the winter chill is intolerable for them.
Fishermen say that this year the arrival of birds in Deepor Beel has been delayed due to late arrival winter. Some of them, however, say that the arrival of birds to the beel has been on the fall for the past 15 years.
Talking to this reporter, Deepor Beel Panchporiya Samabai Samiti president Pradip Kumar Das said: “Apart from bird species, we do feel the fall in population of fish and various other aquatic animals like tortoise and aquatic plants in the Ramsar Site. This is considered to be the direct fallout of water pollution in the beel. In November last year, death of fishes was seen in the beel. This year also, the water of the beel is blackish and oily. This may debar migratory from visiting the wetland.”
Dispur’s move for beautifying Deepor Beel sounds like a sick joke. The major problems afflicting the Ramsar site is that some industries have sprang up on its bank. Such industries are notorious for water pollution. This apart, encroachment of the beel has also posed a threat to the site and its biodiversity.