The ‘Island of Silence’ Sasoni Merbeel has huge potential to become an eco-tourism hotspot in Assam.
The ‘Island of Silence’ is spread over 1550 bighas of land.
Sasoni Merbeel is situated at Naharkatia in upper Assam’s Dibrugarh.
It is known for its rich biodiversity.
The Merbeel (wetland) has been witnessing huge numbers of migratory birds every year.
The main architect behind the project is former ULFA leader Monimanik Gogoi.
Monikmanik has been associated with the Sasoni Merbeel eco-tourism project for the last 10 years.
Many people in the villages have become self-employed due to the project.
Gogoi has shown the people of the villages to become self-employed.
The former ULFA leader has faced lots of difficulties during the initial days of the project but his strong determination and positive attitude help him to overcome the challenging times.
“Sasoni Merbeel is known as the ‘Island of Silence’ because of its calmness and cool environment. I cannot express this feeling because it is something different. We have a well-dedicated team which is working hard for the conservation of Sasoni Merbeel,” Monimanik Gogoi said.
Gogoi said, “Merbeel is an Island and a remarkable biodiversity hotspot. It is a place of natural beauty not only in terms of its mystic charm but also in the qualities of its wildlife.”
“The mystic natural and precious natural wealth can turn this place (island) into one of the most cherished tourist destinations in the state,” he said.
“It is rich in birds, animals, butterflies, fish, tortoises, python, snakes, etc. and the hospitable people here make the discerning travellers spellbound. Every year tourists from foreign countries visit Merbeel for birdwatching,” Gogoi said.
He said, “We have built four cottages for night stay but it is not started yet. Assam Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) has helped us with funds to construct the cottages. A total of 8 families can stay in the cottages.”
“Oil India Limited has given Rs 1 core 16 lakh for the development of the Sasoni Merbeel eco-tourism project. OIL has been helping us through various ways in developing the project.”
“For the conservation of Sasoni Merbeel, the villagers have played a crucial role by donating their land for the project. Everyone has participated in the project,” Gogoi further said.