The historic Digholipukhuri, located in central Guwahati, has been facing perils of different nature since many years, rubbish dumping, water pollution as well as lack of maintenance. The administration’s most recent decision to build a concrete embankment around the shore of Digholipukhuri, in the guise of its beautification, has become a cause of great alarm among environmental activists of the region. Aaranyak, an NGO pioneering biodiversity conservation in Assam since 1989, has raised questions on the ecological consequences that would lead from such concretization of the Digholipukhuri.
Dr.BibhabTalukdar, Secretary General of Aaranyak, has pointed out that a concrete embankment at the shore would cause grave damages to the ecological equilibrium of the pond and its ecosystem. The obstructive concrete between the pond water and shoreline could even lead to death of fish and turtles, caused due to misbalance in aquatic physio-chemical composition. Furthermore, if the vegetated area at the edge of the pond, which would normally provide shelter, places to feed, breeding and nesting areas of aquatic life including fish and turtle and tortoise, is cleared and built over, it would completely destroy the needed PH balance and oxygen content in the Digholipukhuri.
Dr. Talukdar, while commending the intent of beautifying the Digholipukhuri, has seriously urged the concerned authorities to reevaluate the decision keeping in mind the ecological services and encourage the district authorities to consult with experts to ensure that the wetland quality of Dighalipukhuri, which is a historic wetland is not compromised. There are many eco-friendly ways of enhancing the pristine beauty of Digholipukhuri, and the ideal way forward would be to undertake such procedures in consultation with environmental experts. Dr.Talukdar added that Aaranyak is equipped as well as prepared to lend assistance to the district administration, in this regard.