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Govt seeks time for Deepor Beel demarcation


GUWAHATI, March 16 - The Assam government has sought four more weeks� time from March 3, 2016, for completion of the demarcation of the remaining 10 per cent of the Deepor Beel wetland boundary and submission of the compliance report before the Kolkata-based Eastern Zone (EZ) Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Demarcation of the area of this part of the wetland could not be completed due to the obstruction put by the traditional fishermen, said the State government in its affidavit filed before the NGT EZ Bench.

The State government, in its affidavit submitted before the NGT EZ Bench, in connection with the Original Application No. 19 of 2014/EZ (Rohit Choudhury versus the Union of India and Others) on the issue of dumping of Guwahati municipal solid waste (MSW) on the Deepor Beel, said that the Committee for Demarcation of the Deepor Beel area monitored the work of mapping the notified area of Deepor Beel in a Geographical Information System (GIS) platform by the Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC).

Elaborating, it said the ASTEC superimposed the cadastral boundaries of the notified dags on the satellite imagery. Based on that, the shape files along with Geo reference points, North Bearing and mutual distance of the corner points of the notified dags were determined.

The data thus generated was made ready by the ASTEC and handed over to the Assam Survey on February 17, 2016 for ground verification and identification of the boundary corners of the notified dags for demarcation on the ground.

A joint team led by the member convenor of the committee and assisted by the Assistant Director, Assam Survey, personnel from the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), the Circle Officer, Azara and the Guwahati revenue circles, started the procedure for the field demarcation on February 18, 2016 and continued till February 21, 2016 to cover the entire area.

The forest/wildlife sanctuary area in Deepor Beel has already been demarcated in this exercise in the notified area under the provisions of the Guwahati Water Bodies (Preservation and Conservation) Act, 2008, but now the rest of the water body, excluding the wildlife sanctuary area, has been sought to be demarcated.

As per the shape files prepared by the ASTEC, covering the notified area as above, the Deepor Beel and of the three villages, namely, Mikirpara Chakradoi, Dharapur and Dakhin Jalukbari, fixed corner points on the boundary of the notified dags as per the GIS database were identified on the ground and thus demarcated.

In the course of demarcation, in a particular area, the local residents (traditional fishermen) put up obstruction to the works and there arose a grave law-and-order problem, due to which the demarcation process had to be stopped in the area. However, the process of making arrangements with the said local people is going on and the process of demarcation is scheduled to be restarted with adequate protection, for which some more time is required for the completion of the entire process, said the State Government in its affidavit. The matter has been fixed for April 8, 2014.

It needs mention here that the NGT EZ Bench had on December 17, 2015, asked the State Government to file the action taken report on the completion of the demarcation of the Deepor Beel area by February 28, 2016.

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