'Deepor Beel, Assam

Deepor Beel (beel means lake in Assamese) is the first bird sanctuary and only Ramsar site of Assam. It is located 18 km southwest of Guwhati on the National Highway 31 on the ... more 
'Deepor Beel, Assam

Deepor Beel (beel means lake in Assamese) is the first bird sanctuary and only Ramsar site of Assam. It is located 18 km southwest of Guwhati on the National Highway 31 on the Jalukbari Khanapara bypass. The beel is about 5 km from Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport. A broad gauge railway line skirts the lake. It is permanent, freshwater lake in a former channel of the Brahmaputra river. It not only a major stormwater storage basin for Guwahati city but also a large natural wetland having great biological and environmental importance. The beel has a total area of 40 sq km of which 4.14 sq km was declared a bird sanctuary by the Assam Government in 1989. In November 2002, it was listed as a Ramsar site due to its rich wetland biodiversity. Again, considering the varieties of bird species found in the beel, Birdlife International has also declared Deepor Beel as an Important Bird Area (IBA). However, the people and government are ignoring the importance of this beel and its deterioration is on full scale. The major reasons are proliferation of human settlements, roads, and industries around the periphery (in the eastern and north-eastern sides) causing pollution, waste-water from different parts of the city and the adjoining areas, construction of broad-gauge railway line on the periphery of the beel, allottment of the government vacant land to private parties by government settlement department, brick kilns and soil cutting, hunting, trapping and killing of wild birds and mammals, and unplanned intensive fishing practices (both during day and night).

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Yahoo Lifestyle | Photo By Kaveri Hazarika / Flickr
Wed, Apr 17, 2013 6:00 AM EDT