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Plan in place to rejuvenate four water bodies

By RITURAJ BORTHAKUR
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GUWAHATI, June 16 - As part of the smart city project, the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has drawn up an action plan for rejuvenating four key water bodies in the city � the Deepor Beel, the Borsola Beel, the Mora Bharalu and Bharalu rivers.

GMDA CEO Dr M Angamuthu said as a first step towards creating awareness about the Deepor Beel, three projects would be taken up. �First is retrofitting of the existing watch tower area - a gateway to Deepor Bird Sanctuary. Also the required sitting arrangements and lightning will be done along the Pamohi PWD Road. A new boating point will be developed on the north side,� Angamuthu said.

In the second phase under the Guwahati Smart City Mission, four long-term conservation and restoration measures would be taken up - flood water management plan, Deepor wetland demarcation, water quality management and plan for safe movement of elephants from Rani to Deepor.

The notified area of the Deepor Beel is about 6.89 sq km, of which the core 4.1 sq km of the water body was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2014. �The current total wetland area is about 21 sq km, which needs to be preserved. The aim of the Deepor Beel component in the smart city project is to improve the conservation and protection of the wetland and to create an environment for recreation,� the CEO said.

To improve the environment ecology of the Borsola Beel, a sewage treatment plant would be built there, besides a retaining wall, walkway and compound wall and shifting of the overhead high tension wires to underground.

Other landscaping works planned for the Beel include cleaning of water hyacinth, re-sectioning of the beel, construction of a de-silting chamber, play area for children, yoga pavilion, fountain, gym and electrical illumination.

GMDA admits that the Borsola Beel has been reduced to a cesspool due to direct discharge of sewage, storm water and industrial effluents. Solid waste from the surrounding areas is also dumped into the beel. Portions of the beel have been converted into residential areas and some even used by government departments for public purposes.

The GMDA also plans to take up a cleaning and de-silting work in the Bharalu River. Other plans for the river include setting up of a sewage treatment plant, sewer drain within the bed, etc.

Treated water from the sewage treatment plants will be discharged into both the Bharalu and the Mora Bharalu for maintaining ecological flow of the rivers. The Bahini River will also be rejuvenated as part of the plan.

�The DPR for the projects are ready. We have already floated the tender for the projects worth Rs 230 crore for the Borsola Beel. For the Deepor Beel related projects, estimated to cost around Rs 100 crore, we will float the tender shortly,� Angamuthu added.

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Plan in place to rejuvenate four water bodies

GUWAHATI, June 16 - As part of the smart city project, the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) has drawn up an action plan for rejuvenating four key water bodies in the city � the Deepor Beel, the Borsola Beel, the Mora Bharalu and Bharalu rivers.

GMDA CEO Dr M Angamuthu said as a first step towards creating awareness about the Deepor Beel, three projects would be taken up. �First is retrofitting of the existing watch tower area - a gateway to Deepor Bird Sanctuary. Also the required sitting arrangements and lightning will be done along the Pamohi PWD Road. A new boating point will be developed on the north side,� Angamuthu said.

In the second phase under the Guwahati Smart City Mission, four long-term conservation and restoration measures would be taken up - flood water management plan, Deepor wetland demarcation, water quality management and plan for safe movement of elephants from Rani to Deepor.

The notified area of the Deepor Beel is about 6.89 sq km, of which the core 4.1 sq km of the water body was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2014. �The current total wetland area is about 21 sq km, which needs to be preserved. The aim of the Deepor Beel component in the smart city project is to improve the conservation and protection of the wetland and to create an environment for recreation,� the CEO said.

To improve the environment ecology of the Borsola Beel, a sewage treatment plant would be built there, besides a retaining wall, walkway and compound wall and shifting of the overhead high tension wires to underground.

Other landscaping works planned for the Beel include cleaning of water hyacinth, re-sectioning of the beel, construction of a de-silting chamber, play area for children, yoga pavilion, fountain, gym and electrical illumination.

GMDA admits that the Borsola Beel has been reduced to a cesspool due to direct discharge of sewage, storm water and industrial effluents. Solid waste from the surrounding areas is also dumped into the beel. Portions of the beel have been converted into residential areas and some even used by government departments for public purposes.

The GMDA also plans to take up a cleaning and de-silting work in the Bharalu River. Other plans for the river include setting up of a sewage treatment plant, sewer drain within the bed, etc.

Treated water from the sewage treatment plants will be discharged into both the Bharalu and the Mora Bharalu for maintaining ecological flow of the rivers. The Bahini River will also be rejuvenated as part of the plan.

�The DPR for the projects are ready. We have already floated the tender for the projects worth Rs 230 crore for the Borsola Beel. For the Deepor Beel related projects, estimated to cost around Rs 100 crore, we will float the tender shortly,� Angamuthu added.