Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma directed forest and environment minister Parimal Suklabaidya to enquire into death of nearly 250 cattle egrets at Tangla in Udalguri district.

The cattle egrets died after the Tangla Municipal Board ordered to clear the bamboo groves inhabiting the birds in private lands in Tangla town of Udalguri district on Thursday.

Udalguri deputy commissioner Dr. Uday Praveen on Friday morning visited the site and ordered the municipal authorities to stop further cutting of bamboo groves and directed Harisinga revenue circle officer Manisha Nath to submit a report regarding the incident.

Praveen also facilitated shifting of nearly 80 cattle egret chicks to the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation in Kaziranga.

Also read: Assam: Hundreds of cattle egrets dead as Tangla Municipal Board chops down bamboo groves

Sources said a show-cause notice was served under Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 & COVID regulations 2020 for spreading misinformation and creating fear among locals regarding spread of COVID19.

An FIR has been lodged by the forest department under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1972.

According to reports, the municipal authorities sent a notice on June 8 vide Memo no. 0505TMB/2019/20/98 to five citizens holding private lands in Ward No. 1 and 2 of Tangla town.

The notice, signed by the Tangla Municipal Board executive officer said: “The egrets nestling at the bamboo grove in the land have added to the risk of spreading Coronavirus, creating an unhygienic condition with their droppings and it is advised to the land holders to cut down the bamboo groves to create a hygienic environment.”

Following the notice, Tangla Municipal Board chairman Dilip Boro ordered for clearing of the bamboo groves and on Thursday, the bamboo groves were cleared in the land of Lokajit Sutar of Ward No. 1 of Tangla town of Udalguri district.

The bamboo groves were located near the residence of Tangla Municipal Board chairman-cum-Khalingduar BTR Member Council of Legislative Assembly (MCLA) Dilip Boro.

Dilip Boro said the bamboo grooves were cleared based on public complaints of foul smell and odour from the dripping of the birds that allegedly created an unhygienic condition.

However, the act of clearing of the bamboo groves, which resulted in the death of hundreds of cattle egrets has drawn sharp criticisms from the environmentalists and bird lovers.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: