Udalguri, Jun 25: The local administration in Tangla town of Assam's Udalguri district has cut down some bamboo plants, where many egrets had built their nests, citing apprehension of spread of COVID-19 by the droppings of these birds.
The birds had built their nests in bamboo groves during the ongoing breeding season at a few locations, officials said on Friday.
The Tangla Municipal Committee, in a letter on June 8 had directed five residents of ward numbers 1 and 2 of the area under the committee, to cut the bamboo plants in their premises.
The letter, signed by the executive officer of the Tangla Municipal Committee, read, "... the droppings of egrets that are nesting in the bamboo plants in your premises have caused unhygienic conditions, which could lead to increase in COVID-19 cases."
"Therefore, you are asked to cut the bamboo plants in your premises and create a hygienic living condition in the area," the letter added.
When the owners of the bamboo groves did not cut the plants within the specified time-frame, the local administration stepped in and felled the plants.
Tangla police station officer in-charge Someswar Konwar, confirming the cutting down of the bamboo plants, said, "The residents were given a time frame to cut the bamboo plants. But they didn't do and then, the authorities had to cut these."
Asked about the exact number of egrets killed, the officer said that the police was not aware of how many were killed or affected due to the cutting of the bamboo plants as the Forest department was responsible for assessing it. Forest department officials said they had not received any intimation and did not have any data with them.
Local people alleged that many unhatched eggs were destroyed and newborns died when the bamboo plants were cut and the nests fell to the ground.