TEZPUR, June 22 � Tezpur which was once better known for its naturally beautiful landscape and many historical monuments like the Mahabhairab temple, Agnigarh Park, Owguri Hill, Cole Park (now renamed as Chitralekha Uddyan), Bishnu Rabha Samadhisthal, POKI (Jyoti Bharati), Dalimi Pahar, Maithan alongwith beautiful lakes, rivers, hillocks, forests and rich flora and fauna is now a days fast losing its beauty as a result of water logging, garbage dumps, improper drainage systems, haphazard construction of buildings for residential and commercial purposes etc.
Shrouded in myths, legends and mysteries, Tezpur known as land of paradise was once a �naturally planned city�. However, in the course of the time, open fields including Ushanagar, Basantipur, Porwa Chariali and Rangali Pathar areas in and around the ancient city on the bank of the river Brahmaputra were later occupied by people migrating from across the State. These areas were once cropland.
The six major wetlands (locally known as �hola�) including Barikachuburi to Brahmaputra, Rubber Bagan to Brahmaputra touching the rear portions of ASEB, civil hospital and Kekurapool, Nikamul to Brahmaputra touching Baraholia, from Tezpur Eye Hospital area to Brahmaputra touching upon the 37 (A) National Highway and Majgaon Ketekibari, from Kamarchuburi to Brahmaputra touching the Refugee market, Guru Nanak school campus (Cotton Road area) and the Parbatia-Bamparbatia wetland have been playing a pivotal role as a natural drainage system to release the excess water into the Brahmaputra thereby easing the the water logging problem.
However, apart from the Parbatia-Bam-Parbatia wetland (hola) the remaining five natural drainages have been severely encroached, harming the eco-system and the natural beauty of the historic town.
Expressing serious concern over the matter, advocate Biraj Nath said that despite there being a ban on selling these lands, some land mafia in nexus with some unscrupulous government officials have been classifying the�hola� lands and selling those at high prices. �It is learnt that taking advantage of this, some people are constructing commercial buildings like shopping malls and nursing homes. And if this goes on, a day will come when Tezpur will also suffer from various problems including artificial floods,� he said adding there is a land advisory board which is also to be blamed in this regard. On the other hand, the citizens of the town have urged the authorities including the Deputy Commissioner, local MLA, Tezpur Municipality board and the Town Development authority and the environmental organisations to play a positive role in checking the serious problem.
When contacted, the DC office sources revealed that recently the Deputy Commissioner, Lalit Gogoi conducted a survey in the concerned areas and found that most of the �hola� lands are encroached. People are now eagerly waiting to see what measures would be taken by the authority in this regard.