Friday, January 20, 2012

News Article: Eviction drives to clear Silsako, Sarusola beels

TNN | Jan 20, 2012, 03.28AM IST

GUWAHATI: After years of encroachment, the Kamrup (Metro) district administration has started eviction drives in the Silsako and Sarusola waterbodies of the city.

DC (Kamrup Metro) Ashutosh Agnihotri said any kind of encroachment, development and construction in the protected areas of the two natural water bodies will not be tolerated. "Silsako and Sarusola are notified waterbodies and needs to be cleared. It is also necessary to clear the other wetlands of Guwahati to solve the problem of waterlogging," said Agnihotri.

An official of the district administration said that 40 houses constructed by encroaching the wetlands of Sarusola have been dismantled during the drive on Thursday and the district administration will next start digging the Sarusola Beel to make it a tourist spot.

"For better water management, it is important free the Sarusola Beel of encroachments. After clearing the protected areas in the periphery of Sarusala, construction of pavements along the banks of the waterbody will begin. We want to give Sarusala a different look. Like Dighalipukhuri, the beautification of the Sarusala water is our aim so that people get a new place to enjoy," he added. He said about eight and half bighas of land were freed of settlements during the eviction drive in the Sarusola Beel. The official stated the people were cooperating with the administration and there were no untoward incidents during the drive.

The Sarusola Beel alone has the potential bear drainage water from Paltan Bazar Manipuribasti, Fancy Bazar, Panbazar, Solapar, Ulubari, Gandhibasti and Chandmari areas of the city. Flashfloods cause inconvenience in these areas every year as the drains leading to the wetlands are blocked due to human settlements.

At the Silsako Beel, where the water retention capacity has been reduced by heavy sedimentation and construction in the nearby areas, 18 houses were razed by the district administration on Wednesday. The eviction drive continued on Thursday too.

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