by Rituraj Borthakur
March 20,2017 | Source: Assam Tribune
In a landmark move, the State government has decided to hand over the administrative control of all natural water bodies – beels, oxbow lakes, low lying areas, swamps, derelict water bodies, dead river courses, river tributaries and reservoirs, which were so far being settled by the Revenue & Disaster Management Department – to the Department of Fisheries. The move has been initiated for proper scientific conservation and management of the natural resources in a productive manner for sustainable development and economic development of the people in the vicinity of such natural water bodies. The State fishery department had only 141 government farms as its asset and they were primarily engaged in fish seed production and distribution. The Assam Fisheries Development Corporation has 185 beels, comprising around 10,000 hectares of land.
There are around one lakh hectares of beels (430 registered and 767 unregistered) in Assam under the State revenue department. Derelict water bodies comprise around 1,16,444 hectares of land. “Such natural bodies shall be administered by the fishery department through its directorate/district/subdivisional level officers,” a government notification stated. “It is a bold initiative of the government. It will have a major positive impact