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Saturday, December 4, 2021
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Ecology at stake: Asia’s second-largest wetland in Assam, Sonbeel, facing drought amidst monsoon

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Most of the water resources in Asian countries are contaminated due to domestic, industrial, and agricultural waste, which affects the health of humans and the quality of water resources.

Sonbeel, which is the second-largest lake in southern Assam in India, is facing severe aridity under the prevalence of monsoons this year. It is getting dried up to such an extent that the water of the wetland is sinking and getting reduced at an unprecedented level. The incident occurred for the first time in past decades. Locals are brooding over the contemporary scenario of the lake, which is spread over 3458.12 hectares on land; fishermen who depend on it for their livelihood are quite flummoxed as they are not able to figure out what next is written on their fate.

Individuals are mainly worried about the minimal supply of fish in local markets. Sonbeel is known for varieties of fish that are not only fresh and tasty but also nutritious. As many as 35,000 families earn their daily bread from the freshwater tectonic lake. Some fishermen catch fish and sell them in markets. Besides all these, there are a vast number of boatmen who take the local and outside visitors around the scenic and beautiful lake to view nature for entertainment. Others are agriculturists. This way or the other, they live with nature.

son 2 The North-Eastern Chronicle

The drastic drying up of the water in the wetlands has raised a number of questions about the lake’s very existence. There are diverse species of fish in the lake which are on the verge of extinction due to rise in toxic level and their shrinking habitats.

As per the information by Dr. Debashis Kar, Professor of Life Science, Assam University, Sonbeel is home to 69 species of fish belonging to 49 genera, 24 families, and 11 others. 84.2% of them are from the freshwater group and the rest of the peripheral class.

Migratory birds flock in hundreds, attracted by the aquatic creatures of the lake. Moreover, the beauty of the lake is further enhanced by trees locally known as ‘Izoil.’ However, keeping in view of the contemporary scenario, the rich ecology of Barak Valley’s survival depends on the Rain God.

As per the sources, thus far, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has announced to make Sonbeel a tourist resort and include it on the map of sightseeing visiting places like Malegarh.

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