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 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.
- 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.