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Ramesh asks for CM�s intervention

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, May 15 � The Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh has called upon Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi to take personal interest in protecting the natural wetlands and to prevent discharge of dirty effluents to the Brahmaputra river.

The Union Minister wrote to the Chief Minister after receiving a memorandum from voluntary organization Save Guwahati Build Guwahati (SGBG) and assured that his Ministry would extend all possible support to the State Government in this regard.

Meanwhile, in a memorandum to the Union Minister, the SGBG said that Assam, more particularly Guwahati city, is losing its natural resources like green hills, wetlands, river banks and forests because of the failure of the State Government to take effective steps to protect the same. Damaging of such natural resources not only affected the environment of the state, but is also responsible for changing the climatic condition, said the SGBG in the memorandum.

The memorandum said that river erosion and encroachment of the wetlands are mainly responsible for water logging in Guwahati city and over the years, successive Governments gave settlement to a number institutions and individuals in the historic Solabeel in the city, which compounded the problem of water logging in the city. The SGBG said that even Government offices and educational institutions are located on the wetlands, while, Bharalu river, the main drainage channel of Guwahati city has been encroached upon. The SGBG said that the Government recently started a water supply plant in Jalukbari area by filling up a large swamp.

The memorandum pointed out that the Union Government recently initiated moves to restore wetlands in different parts of the country, which included cleaning up of major rivers. The Brahmaputra river provides drinking water to a large number of people of the state, but unfortunately, untreated effluents and other pollutants are dumped into the river every day. The Bharalu river is also depositing pollutants to the Brahmaputra and there is urgent need for stopping such practice in the interest of protecting the health of the people of Assam, the memorandum said.

The SGBG also called upon Ramesh to take personal initiative to ensure protection of the wetlands, hills and rivers and river banks of Assam and to improve the quality of water of Brahmaputra and Bharalu rivers.

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