TODAY -

Need to stop meddling with nature : Wetlands and Loktak
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 02, 2021 -



Don't meddle with nature.

It is a virus, no doubt, a highly contagious one at that and if at all there is a lesson to be learnt from the global pandemic triggered by the coronavirus, which has claimed lakhs of lives and derailed the economic activities of countries across the world, then it is time to come to the realisation that for too long mankind has been meddling with nature.

This is where the observation of Chief Minister N Biren that the Departments and authorities concerned have failed to protect and preserve 13 prominent wetlands of the State should be taken note of with a tinge of worry and concern.

Tough talk and an admission that failure of the Departments concerned is writ large on the bald hill ranges that one sees across Manipur.

What were once verdant hills, with greenery all around are today nothing much more than barren hill sides and one has to just take a drive to any of the hill districts to get a glimpse of the point that is sought to be made here.

World Wetlands Day.

The significance of setting aside a day in a calendar year dedicated to the need to preserve Wetlands across the world should not be lost on anyone and this is where people of Manipur would need to come together and acknowledge the point that preserving the large swathes of wetlands cannot be the responsibility of those sitting at New Delhi or anywhere else.

An environmentalist in office is of no use, or somewhere along this line were the words used by the Chief Minister to drive home the need to preserve the environment.

How well is the Loktak lake protected is the natural question that follows when one talks about water bodies in Manipur.

The very fact that numerous localities in Imphal end with the term, Pat, such as in Lamphelpat should tell all of the huge presence of water bodies in the valley areas of Manipur.

And when one talks about water bodies in Manipur, Loktak is right up there at the top.

The question is how concerned are the people and the Departments about what is being fed to the largest fresh water lake in the region by the numerous rivers that empty into this lake?

To secure the future of Loktak it is then imperative that people walk the extra mile to ensure that no pollutants are thrown into the rivers that empty into the lake or join another river that ends at the lake.

This is primarily the reason why when any talk of preserving Loktak starts, there is the pressing need to ensure that Nambul river, which flows through the heart of Imphal is not polluted.

It is along this line Why Professor Kshetri Rajendra Singh of Manipur University penned a series of poem, 'Cry of a Dying River' stretching to 100 poems from September 17, 2017 to November 2019 and which was carried in the English edition of The Sangai Express every Sunday.

The link between Nambul river and Loktak lake should not be missed and the pollution level at Nambul river will have a direct impact on the health of Loktak lake and this is something which everyone seems to talk, about but about which no one seems to do anything worthwhile, much less the Departments concerned.

This is where it becomes important to note the point that saving or preserving the Wetlands of the land means protecting the environment and this is where the efforts taken up to green Angaan Chin'g at Kakching should not miss the attention of the Government.

If volunteers can turn a barren hillside into a now verdant Eco Park at Angaan Ching, it should not be much of a trouble to stop the rampant deforestation at Mount Koubru, which the Chief Minister noted with concern.



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