Image: Northeast Now

The Goalpara district administration in lower Assam has geared for the beautification of the Urpad Beel, a lake near Agia and about nine km away from the town.

The administration has cleared the eviction of the surrounding encroachments in last fortnight as directed by the chief minister during his visit to the district on November 20 last.

On Thursday, Varnali Deka, deputy commissioner, chaired a meeting at the site with various department officers like revenue, fishery, forest, soil conservation, PWD etc.

The deputy commissioner took cognizance of the schemes being prepared to create the site as an eco-tourism spot.

“The administration is going to preserve the natural water body and develop the beel into an eco-tourism and recreational park,” informed Ashraful Amin, ADC on revenue charge.

“We have 3882 bighas of land belonging to the beel for this,” the ADC added.

“The PWD rural road division will construct two parking places, one approach road to the beel, plantation and solar lighting,” informed Padmananda Choudhury, executive engineer of the PWD rural road division.

Urpad Beel is one of the biggest lakes in lower Assam and has been listed in 100 big natural water bodies to be developed through schemes under the guidelines of the Prime Minister’s office.

This magnificently beautiful lake has a number of natural resources and a safe haven of migratory birds.

Only few years back, it was also a source of drinking water and a playground for the wild elephants.

“We have evicted an illegal rubber plantation of two bighas within the peripheries of the beel,” said Nayan Rajbongshi, assistant conservator of forest.

“We wish that the jumbos will be free after the development of the beel to return to the water body,” he added.

An ecological study of Urbad beel with reference to aquatic plant community showed that 93 aquatic macrophytic plant species belonging to 74 genres and 45 families have been reported from the wetland.

Sofikul Ahmed

Sofikul Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in Goalpara. He can be reached at: dull.sofik@gmail.com