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| Last Updated:30/06/2018

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House discusses threat to river dolphin in Kulsi

 Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 15 - The threat posed to the river dolphin in the River Kulsi due to pollution and illegal sand mining was raised in the State Assembly today by Chhaygaon MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed.“Apart from the sand mahals allotted by the State government, rampant illegal mining of sand with machines is going on. The endangered species is further being threatened by pollution caused by the machines used for sand mining, particularly due to the oil released by these machines into the river,” Ahmed said.

Acknowledging the problem, Environment and Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said that many unscrupulous elements are engaged in illegal sand mining.

 

“Sand mahals are allotted by the government on the riverbanks having a depth of not more than five feet. And since dolphins are deep water animals, such mahals, where only manual sand mining is allowed, are not a threat to the animal. However, a lot of people have taken up sand mining as their livelihood and to augment their profit, use machines to dredge the river. Any government action, taken against such people, leads to a huge uproar in the area. We need the support of all, including the local MLA to act on the matter,” she added.

 

Strict monitoring against river pollution, particularly during the breeding season of river dolphins was raised in the Assembly. “The government has taken several steps for protection of the dolphins with the help of NGOs. Awareness campaigns and census of river dolphins are done periodically,” the minister added.

 

Source: The Assam Tribune, Guwahati, Friday, March 16, 2018