GUWAHATI, Jan 18 - The Kamrup Metro district administration has formed a high-level committee for the conservation of endangered turtles in the historic Jorpukhuri and overall development of the pond located in the heart of the city.
Kamrup Metro Deputy Commissioner Dr M Angamuthu said today that the committee would be headed by the Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC). It will also have as members an Additional DC of Kamrup Metro, the Circle Officer of Guwahati revenue circle, the ward councillor of GMC Ward No. 11, the area sabha members of GMC Ward No. 11, the DFO Wildlife Division, the DFO of Kamrup East Division, the chief doloi of Ugratara Devalaya, officials from the Pollution Control Board, DVO of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department, the District Fishery Development Officer of Kamrup Metro, a representative from the Tourism Directorate and representatives from Help Earth NGO.
Dr Angamuthu said the committee would draw a roadmap for overall development of the pond in consultation with the local people and take appropriate measures to protect the wildlife in the pond.
�It will take all necessary measures for the beautification of the pond with emphasis on habitat protection of the turtles living there. It will also take measures for provision of lighting facilities in the area surrounding the pond and develop a comprehensive plan for overall development of the pond,� he said.
The committee has been asked to develop Jorpukhuri as an educational, conservation and breeding centre for endangered turtles and to promote the site for ecotourism. It will also have to generate funds for follow-up conservation programmes for the pond and its biodiversity.
�Jorpukhuri is one of the oldest ponds of Guwahati and habitat to more than 10 rare species of turtles. But in recent times, due to ill maintenance, the turtles living in the pond are on the verge of extinction,� said Dr Angamuthu.
He added, �It has been observed that due to concretisation of the boundary of the pond the turtles are afflicted with disease and parasitic infection. Moreover, the general water quality is poor and because of confinement, there is lack of natural water movement and water recycling.�