GUWAHATI, March 19 - Water of the Deepor Beel is �completely safe for wildlife and fisheries,� the State Government has claimed, according to which the unnatural death of the Greater Adjutant Storks in the wetland early this year cannot be linked with the water of the wetland.
It needs mention here that over 20 Greater Adjutant Storks, a highly endangered bird species, were found dead on the eastern fringe of the Deepor Beel since January 22, 2017. There is a police case (30/2017) lodged under Section 447/429 of the IPC read with Section 51(1) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, lodged by the Circle Officer of the Azara Revenue Circle in this connection. RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury had brought the incident to the notice of the Eastern Zone (EZ) Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a case (Original Application No.19/2014/EZ).
It is generally believed here that the Boragaon municipal solid waste (MSW) dumping ground of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) is responsible for this environmental tragedy.
In its affidavit before the EZ Bench of the NGT, the State Government said the fact that the water of the world famous wetland is completely safe for wildlife and fisheries has been proved by January 24, 2017 report of the Pollution Control Board and January 25, 2017 report of the District Fishery Division Officer, Kamrup. Hence, the death of Greater Adjutant Storks cannot be attributed or linked with the water content of Deepor Beel, stated the government affidavit signed by Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia.
The State Government further said in its affidavit that the post-mortem report carried out by the Bombay Natural History Society on the carcasses of the Greater Adjutant Storks states that causes of the death are found to be � �Ulcerative enteritis and septicemia with severe parasitic infection.�
The January 27, 2017 enquiry report of the Circle Officer, Azara Revenue Circle also suggests that the death of the Greater Adjutant Storks �cannot be attributed or linked with the water contents of Deepor Beel,� the affidavit stated.
It said that the MSW dumping ground of the GMC was set up in 2006 and all necessary formalities under the prevailing law in force at the relevant point of time were duly complied with, and therefore, there has been no violation of any provision of any prevailing laws.
The GMC has already involved an expert team of the IIT Kharagpur for a solid waste management project at Boragaon and this team suggested various methods of waste disposal, which will have no adverse impact on the Deepor Beel as well as on the ecology of the area, stated the affidavit.