The Gauhati High Court today directed the Assam government and civic authorities here to file affidavits on protection and conservation of wetlands in the city.
A division bench of justices Hrishikesh Roy and Nelson Sailo, after hearing a public interest litigation filed by eminent journalist and author Homen Borgohain and three others, asked the state government, the Guwahati Municipal Corporation and the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority to file their affidavits and fixed the next date for hearing on March 23.
The PIL was filed for protection and conservation of wetlands in Guwahati city.
The director of the National River Conservation Department, Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change, has filed an affidavit.
The Union Ministry has suggested to the state and Union Territories to accord high priority on their specified recommendations to constitute wetland authority on the integrated management on lakes and wetlands in each state.
After hearing the PIL, the court observed that the Assam government was yet to designate a wetland authority as was suggested by the Centre in November, 2013.
It was also recorded that Deepor Beel was one of the 115 identified wetlands for conservation, under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010, and the central government had released Rs 362 lakh so far to the state government for its upkeep.
The state government, however, is yet to submit utilisation certificate and physical progress report for Rs 50.34 lakh released during the last eight years.
( Source – PTI )