GUWAHATI, Sept 19 - Noted social worker Krishno Kanta Borooah has alleged that the Bar Solabeel, a major and historic wetland of the State located in Municipal Ward No 14 of Guwahati city, is facing serious threat to its existence due to encroachment and has appealed to the Kamrup (Metro) district authorities to cancel all the settlements granted on this wetland.
It needs mention here that the Solabeel once covered a huge area of the city. Its northern boundary was running between Uzanbazar in the east and Athgaon Solapar in the west, while its eastern boundary was running between Uzanbazar and Ulubari, southern boundary was running between Ulubari in the east and Bishnupur in the west and the western boundary was running between Bishnupur in the south and Athgaon Solapar in the north.
This huge wetland has now been divided into two parts, Bar Solabeel and the Saru Solabeel. While the Saru Solabeel is gasping for life, the condition of the Bar Solabeel is also miserable.
Borooah, who is also leading the voluntary organisation Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) as its president, has in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro), alleged that the Bar Solabeel is being systematically destroyed by some land hungry people who are constructing their buildings and other structures. These unscrupulous people have been taking advantage of the cover provided by the already existing structures. These existing structures have kept this wetland of historic and ecological importance out of public view.
In the recent past, the wetland was used by avifauna of various species as their resting ground, and there was fish too in it. During these days of global warming, climate change and urban flooding, the environmental importance of such a vast wetland, measuring around 15 square kilometres in size, cannot be overlooked, he said.
The encroachment and illegal structures on this wetland have gone to such an extent that no rescue operations would virtually be possible in such areas in the event of a major natural disaster or other calamities.
The settlements granted on the wetland during the rule of the previous State government are ultravires as an environmentally important wetland, which is also a part of the cultural heritage of the State�s society, has been reduced to a private property. Such settlements on the wetland are granted in violation of guidelines of the Union Environment Ministry and provisions of the Guwahati Water Bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Act, 2008, Borooah said.