Gauhati University is planning to conserve its wetland given the adverse effect of construction on its waterbodies.
The university comprises 508 acres of land, including built-up areas of 74 acres, green areas of 170 acres and vacant spaces of 263.5 acres. Built-up area is the carpet area plus the thickness of outer walls.
“Gauhati University is a campus of built-up areas, green areas and vacant spaces. The built-up areas of 74 acres include the National Highway 37 bypass, academic departments, residential houses, hostels and administrative blocks. The 170 acres of green areas include the forest and marshy land on the campus. The green areas will be kept as non-residential areas; construction might take place on the vacant spaces in the future,” Sanjib Baruah, an engineer of the university, said.
“Moreover, there is a need to create separate blocks for each construction on the campus. We are working on this plan,” he added.
He said as of now, the total area of wetland on the campus is of 30.47 hectares. Of this, two major areas of wetland – one behind the statistics department and the other in the surrounding areas of GU Model School stretched up to the Bhupen Hazarika Xamadhikhetra – are of 9.34 hectares and 6.23 hectares respectively.
Dhrubajyoti Saharia of the geography department who is a member of the committee, said, “Wetlands behind the statistics department and areas near the GU Model School are two major natural wetlands. There is a plan to conserve these for a water sports complex in future.”
“Conservation of other small wetlands is equally important to maintain ecological balance. Therefore, we are planning to clean all unidentified wetland areas and develop these soon. The construction of a bypass towards the north has affected many wetlands on the campus. Many wetlands have been affected because of weed infection,” he added.