Loktak under post flood glare
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 24: While several thousand persons may be reeling under the recent flood havoc, for LDA and Information Minister W Leima Devi the situation is a blessing in disguise to cut and clear the ever increasing biomass of Loktak Lake.

At present biomass have covered over 80 percent of the 240 square kilometre largest fresh water lake of the country.

Inspecting the exercise taken up by the LDA to clear the biomass from the lake today, the Minister said the dissected biomass will be released through Manipur river in two separate routes employing traditional methods.

While Laphupat and Thang Manungpat biomass will be released through Khordak, Ungamelpat and Kumbipat biomass will be released through Ungamel channel.

While work for the latter started from yesterday involving 35 persons, similar activities through Khordak will commence within two/three days, said Leima adding that programmes to spread awareness and seek assistance from seven voluntary organizations in the cleansing job began from February.

The organizations are Loktak Lake Environment Conservation Centre (Thanga), Loktak Project Affected Land Owners & Farmers Association (Phabakchao), Environmental Social Reformation and Sangai Protection Forum (Keibul Lamjao), Laphupat Tera Phumdi Management Committee, Ungamel Phumdi Management, Thanga Part I&II Nganu Lup and Committee on Phumdi Management (Khordak).

Leima further said that keeping the Lake free of biomass will not only improve quality of water but enhance pisciculture activities which will further augment the earning capacity of the people living on the periphery of the Lake.

Accompanied by Ministers of IFC N Mangi, PHE Govindas Konthoujam, Revenue E Biramani and MLA S Ibohal, W Leima acknowledged the suspension of LDA activities due to shortage of funds and added that survey and demarcation work of the Lake is the need of the hour.

The matter will be brought up for discussion before the Assembly.

N Mangi stressing on the need of preserving the revered Lake said even though phumdis may facilitate easy fishing purpose at present, continuance with the practice will only lead to deterioration of the lake and the water life there.

The very existence of the lake may also be threatened, he added.

Moreover, removing the biomass will enhance water storage capacity.

PHE Minister stressing that Manipur still lacks adequate supply of drinking water to the general populace said maintaining quality of water of the Lake should be utmost task of every right thinking citizens.

He also added that a Ministerial Committee was set up at the insistence of LDA Minister to cut/clear the phumdis expressing optimism that their endeavor will conclude favorably.

Regarding release of pending salaries of LDA employees, Leima said efforts will be made for the same within a short period urging the employees to continue with their cleansing activities wholeheartedly taking advantage of the rise in water level due to flood.