Wetland Conservation

Places in news: Deepar Beel Wildlife Sanctuary


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Deeper Beel

Mains level : Wetland conservation

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has notified the eco-sensitive zone of the Deepar Beel Wildlife Sanctuary on the south-western edge of Guwahati.

Deepar Beel

  • Deepar Beel is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Assam and the State’s only Ramsar site besides being an Important Bird Area.
  • It is located to the south-west of Guwahati city, in Kamrup Metropolitan district.
  • It is a permanent freshwater lake, in a former channel of the Brahmaputra River, to the south of the main river.
  • It is also called a wetland under the Ramsar Convention which has listed the lake in November 2002, as a Ramsar Site for undertaking conservation measures on the basis of its biological and environmental importance.

Major threats

  • Deepar Beel has long been used as a sponge for Guwahati’s sewage via a couple of streams.
  • The wetland has also suffered from seepage of toxins from a garbage dump at Boragaon adjoining it.
  • It has for decades been threatened by a railway track — set to be doubled and electrified — on its southern rim, a garbage dump, and encroachment from human habitation and commercial units.
  • The water has become toxic and it has lost many of its aquatic plants that elephants would feed on.

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