GUWAHATI, Aug 20 - The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the State government to declare the area around the Deepor Beel, including the adjacent sanctuary, as an eco-sensitive zone. It has also directed the government to include the issue of managing the legacy of the municipal solid waste (MSW) dumping ground inside the Deepor Beel system, in the comprehensive plan being developed by the latter.
It has reiterated that the existing encroachment on the Beel should be removed and steps be taken for prohibiting any further encroachment.
It has stated that the change in the land utilization character from railway gate number 273 to the starting point of the northern alignment of the rail track and the Azara railway crossing at Segunbari, Mikirpara and Matia elephant corridors, should be stopped forthwith in order to ensure that the elephant corridor is kept free for accessing the Deepor Beel and also to avoid man-animal conflict.
The NGT order was issued today in Original Application No.472/2018 [Earlier Original Application No.19/2014 (EZ)], Rohit Cho-udhury versus Union of India and Others.
It also asked the State as well as the Railways to file a comprehensive affidavit to place the proposals of the State as well as the Railways before the Tribunal with specific timelines on the above issues, stating ‘this matter has been lingering on without any resolution since the year 2014.’
It further stated that while deciding on the alternative site for dumping the MSW, an integrated solid waste management plant should be developed as prescribed under the Solid Waste Management Rule, 2016, in order to take care of future space requirements. It would also be appropriate for the State to plan decentralized processing plant to be established in suitable locations of the city as a support system for the proposed integrated solid waste management plant.
The water-body should also be made free from all the hydrophytes and at least get its core area restored to its pristine condition at the first instance.
The government should also place a report on the issue in its affidavit, said the Tribunal.