GUWAHATI, Dec 24 - The State government has informed the Eastern Zone (EZ) Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that demarcation of the boundary of the Deepor Beel, the lone Ramsar Site wetland of the State, is yet to be carried out. But it maintained that the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary area has already been demarcated and permanent pillars have also been placed along the boundaries of the sanctuary.
The State government has made the above statements in its affidavit in connection with the Original Application No 19/2015/EZ (Rohit Choudhury versus Union of India and Others), relating to the dumping of the municipal solid waste of Guwahati in the Deepor Beel area.
It also maintained that the notified area under the Guwahati Water Bodies (Prevention and Conservation) Act, 2008 were found to be totally waterlogged, or inundated, with some of the areas being not accessible due to presence of deep water with very thick water hyacinth cover, when a joint verification was done by a committee headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup (Metro) on October 13, 2015.
The accessible areas were however, visited and the depths were measured, which ranged from 8 to 10 feet. The GPS Coordinates of the above mentioned locations were also taken and a list of the GPS Coordinates with depth of water was also measured. It has therefore, been decided to undertake demarcation work as soon as the water recedes, said the State government in its affidavit.
Another field visit was done on November 21, 2015 jointly by representatives from the GMDA, ASTEC, PCBA, State�s Department of Forests and Environment, circle offices of Guwahati and Azara revenue circles. During this visit it was found that even though the water level had receded making a little portion of the notified area accessible, a considerable portion still remained inaccessible, submerged and inundated by water.
Meanwhile, following a plea from the counsel of the State government, the NGT EZ Bench said on December 17, 2015 that the time to file �further action taken report with regard to the completion of demarcation of the area relating to Deepor Beel Wetland by the Chief Secretary, Govt of Assam is extended to 28.02.2016.� The NGT Bench has fixed March 3, 2016 as the next date in connection with this case.
The State government counsel pleaded that for proper demarcation of the wetland�s area, it requires digital maps in GIS and sought time for that purpose till the last week of February, 2016 when the water level will recede to a workable limit, enabling completion of actual demarcation of the area.