TODAY -

Forest Minister calls for people's participation in forest conservation efforts of Government
Source: The Sangai Express / DIPR

Imphal, June 16 2020: Forest Minister Awangbow Newmai today inspected the periphery of Loktak Lake, Keibul Lamjao National Park, Sendra and ongoing projects in the vicinity.

He was accompanied by Loktak Development Authority Chairman L Susindro, Manipur Pollution Control Board Chairman L Radhakishore, MLAs S Subhaschandra Singh (Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC) and T Robindro Singh (Thanga AC).

Addressing media persons, Awangbow Newmai said that the State is fortunate to have a water body like the Loktak Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the North East region.

Stating that people of Manipur have tremendously benefited from the Loktak lake, he said there is need for collective effort to save the lake.

For conservation to take effect, he opined that the huts built on the phumdis (floating vegetation masses) should be removed.

The huts are polluting the lake, he observed.

Besides providing livelihood to people, the lake has the potential of becoming a major tourists' destination.

The future of the State depends on the 'status' of the lake, he said, appealing people to support the Government in conserving and saving the water body.

Regarding the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), which is home to the endangered State animal Sangai, he said hunting and killing of Sangai should be stopped immediately rather people should come forward to conserve them.

"One need not always depend on the Centre for help or assistance," he said adding people and the State can utilise the abundant resources, the nature has provided to earn revenue "without destroying it".

The Government alone cannot undertake the conservation efforts.

Public cooperation is a must, he added.

The Minister lauded the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) and the Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) for their efforts of keeping the lake clean.

LDA Chairman L Susindro said that the Ministerial team led by Awangbow Newmai visited the Loktak Lake using the waterways and inspected the Yanggoi Maril, Thanga and Chaoba Ching viewpoint to see the condition of the lake.

He said that in the near future, a new Act will be introduced to prohibit fishermen from using electric currents for fishing in the lake.

The Act will introduce stringent punishment for the unconventional method of fishing.

Regarding the cleaning of phumdis, he said the cleaning process will begin in full swing in the month of July with procurement of new machines.

He also informed that cutting of phumdis has started at Maibam Phumlok where phumdis are 14-15 foot in thickness.

He said a proposal will be sent to the Government to clean and thicken the phumdis near KNLP (Keibul Lamjao National Park) for the endangered Sangais.

MPCB Chairman L Radhakishore said one of the objectives of the visit was to observe and study the feasibility of upcoming projects.

He also drew the attention of the Minister to save the environment of the lake and surrounding areas.

The Minister was also accompanied by top officials of the Forest Department including Principal Chief Conservator of Forests K Angami, Additional Chief Secretary MH Khan, LDA officials including Project Direct L Bhagaton Singh among others.


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