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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Responsible Tourism Can Save Deepor Beel For Eternity

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Imtiaz Ullah
Imtiaz Ullahhttps://nomadlawyer.org/about/
Imtiaz Ullah is the founder of travel website - NomadLawyer. A Corporate Lawyer, Senior Travel Correspondent, The Traveller Trails magazine and also acts as an Advisory Member, NGO - Sarvahitey. His travel philosophy is exploring new places, meeting new people, knowing the culture, eating like a local. He always believes in the idea-“ Don't just be a traveller but a Responsible one”.

Deepor Beel

I was idling away at my home in Guwahati and when work from home was becoming monotonous, I was contemplating, what next?

The mundane life was beckoning me to do something adventurous and venture out. Well, this time, I decided to explore the beautiful city of Guwahati- the place where I hail from. I realised that my backyard is no less captivating.

Deepor Beel

The idea of visiting the popular tourist spots in Guwahati sounded cliché and was far from my agenda. I wanted to explore a place within Guwahati city which does not find a place in the usual tourist map of most of the travellers. 

Also Read: https://nomadlawyer.org/experience-the-tea-tourism-of-rural-assam/

Through this blog, I shall highlight a place called Deepor Beel- which actually is a birdwatcher’s paradise and how steps towards “Responsible Tourism”, can save it for eternity.

Know About Deepor Beel

The beel or lake is located south- west of Guwahati city, Assam. It is a permanent freshwater lake in the former channel river Brahmaputra. In November 2002, it was considered  as one of the Ramsar sites in India owing to its organic and environmental importance.

It is considered as one of the most important beels in the Brahmaputra valley of lower Assam. It is also considered as a wetland type underneath the Burma monsoon woodland biogeographic place. 

It is a home to several aquatic plants such as giant water lily, water hyacinth, aquatic grasses, water lilies and other submerged, emergent and floating vegetation.

Why Deepor Beel is Important for locals

Deepor Beel is a wetland which acts as a  host for migratory birds. Every year this wetland is visited by a variety of migratory birds. Hence, this place becomes very important to the ornithologists and bird watchers.

This place is also an elephant corridor. 

This wetland also protects the people from floods and other natural disasters.

It acts as a source of income and livelihood for the local people.

This wetland also plays an important role in the recycling process for water. It receives, stores and releases water overtime, regulates water flow and act as a source of water to the people.

What steps should be taken to preserve the ecology of Deepor Beel

There was a time when beautiful Deepor Beel was in a sorry state of affair and was slowly but surely turning into a dumping ground. This was mainly due to encroachment,  disposal of waste, weed infestation.

In order to safeguard the degradation of this biodiversity, a petition was filed before the National Green Tribunal(NGT) Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata by activist Rohit Chowdhury. After the rounds of litigation on 29th April 2019 the authorities had given a green nod to shift the current dumping site which was the major cause of concern.

Read the judgement: 

Dumping ground: 

https://www.guwahatiplus.com/daily-news/gmc-to-relocate-boragaon-dumping-ground-to-chandrapur-locals-call-for-12-hour-bandh

Railway Track:

Also Read: https://nomadlawyer.org/here-are-finest-guest-houses-for-your-next-himalayan-adventure/

Steps to be taken by travellers – a step towards Responsible Tourism

  • Avoid littering in and around Deepor Beel for that matter any place.
  • There are some small shops run by local people in the vicinity, if travellers eat from them, please don’t dispose of the waste in the open.
  • Compliance to the NGT direction of speed limit of 30kms/hr. This will ensure that the movement of elephants is not disturbed.
  • There is a railway track in the vicinity and as per the direction of NGT, the trains should maintain a slow speed. If you witness non adherence to this, the local authority should be informed.

For best places to stay in Guwahati check:

https://www.booking.com/placestostay/city/in/guwahati.en-gb.html?aid=377400;label=guwahati-jzw99X%2AnnRGu3TEetf1ykASM260565039832%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap180%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atiaud-297601666275%3Akwd-32112248858%3Alp1007745%3Ali%3Adem%3Adm%3Appccp%3DUmFuZG9tSVYkc2RlIyh9YdbYVqXDN8zp7PNDFvT66M8;sid=4a7566cbb83c318bd475d95628954cbd

We urge everyone who is reading this blog to act responsibly and  save this bio diverse wetland from further depletion.

Travel and Don’t stop!

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