|Comprehensive strategy must for development of Deepor Beel|
WE, the people of Assam in general and Guwahati in particular, should consider themselves fortunate as Mother Nature has bestowed upon us a majestic natural water-body in the form of Deepor Beel and number of natural streams, creating a heavenly beauty that invites numerous birds, making these waterbodies as their playground, especially in winter season.
The topographical position of the Deepor Beel is such that the high mountain ranges with thick forests on the south along the borders of Meghalaya are the primary factors which play a vital role in preserving this mega water-body. On the north of it, there exists a plain landmass stretched quite far covered with green carpet. Beyond the open landmass, there are human settlements, besides National Highway 37, known as Pub Boragaon, Paschim Boragaon, Uttar Boragaon and Tetelia. On the south of it along the foothills, human settlements exist at Pamohi, Sakardeo and Deosotal through which there runs a pucca road from east to west connecting Khanapara with the airport.
Nowadays, a railway line runs through the bottleneck of the Deepor Beel on the east that connects the Kamakhya junction with Bongaigaon via Goalpara. This adds an additional beauty to the water-body.
This is not only the source of beauty and enjoyment for the people, it is equally important for the wild animals for fulfiling their drinking water need.
The site is also a tourist spot and very good place for picnic.
In the winter season, a large number of people from far and near come to this place with their friends and families to enjoy the beauty of this natural water-body. This has gradually been attracting more and more people’s attention even from other parts of the country.
For the first time, I have been to the Deepor Beel for picnic in December 2017 under the auspices of the Greater Boragaon Senior Citizens Samity. After visiting the place, we felt the need to develop it as a tourist destination. We decided to take up the matter with the State government.
This being the position and importance of this natural lake, its immediate development, preservation of its natural beauty and installation of infrastructure for tourists as may be deemed suitable.
In view of this, a rough plan and estimate for development of the Deepor Beel site is proposed as given below:
1. The banks around the Beel may be raised up to certain height above the water level during rainy season, surrounded by concrete walls with staircases towards the Beel side.
2. Plantation of different ornamental trees be done on the entire embankment round it for decorating the site with more natural beauty.
3. An approach corridor for the wild elephants and other animals be provided between the thick forest hills and the Beel for their water needs. The passage should be prepared with very strong barbed wire or concrete tunnel for avoiding eventual confrontation between man and animal.
There have been deaths of elephants in train accidents in the recent past. The Railway authority must take adequate measures on this track passing through the area to prevent such accidents from occurring.
5. The spot so developed may also be used as picnic spot with facilities like drinking water, parking place, screen and tents, utensils, urinals and toilets and also availability of manpower.
6. The embankment be protected with barbed nets leaving passages with gates and the entire area be provided with beautifully constructed sheds with coloured CI sheet roofing and sitting arrangement.
7. The water bushes of the Beel be cleaned and maintained regularly.
8. The fishing in the Beel be prohibited strictly.
9. The Guwahati Municipal Corporation has been mercilessly dumping the garbage on the north bank of the Beel at Pachim Boragaon, which has ruined the entire area with foul smell, full of dirt, etc. and thereby causing pollution.
As such, the authority should stop dumping of garbage and shift it to another remote area immediately.
10. Regular cleansing the visitors’ site be maintained properly.
11. Boating facility in a certain area of the Beel be provided for the tourists and visitors, which may generate income for the government.
12. The main attraction of the Deepor Beel is migratory birds from Northern countries in the winter season. Adequate measures for their protection should be ensured by the authority.
13. There have been massive encroachments on the Beel area, as a result of which it has shrunken to the present size. It is a very sorry state of affairs. The State Govt should take strict measures to stop further encroachment and clear the encroached area around the Beel.
14. The Tourism Dept may also set up a rest house at the Beel site for the tourists.
15. There should be a Beat Office of the concerned department with staff entrusted with the responsibilities to take care of all the state properties and to ensure welfare of the visitors.
16. A police outpost be also set up for ensuring security.
If the authority considers the existence of the Deepor Beel as a Nature’s gift to the society and comes out with open heart and zeal to develop it to ensure its preservation, then it will be a great achievement for the State.
In order to protect the Deepor Beel from probable extinction, it is high time to be on alert and come forward for its preservation.