- 01 Aug 2022
- 6 min read
Why in News?
Recently, Loktak Lake Authority of Manipur recently issued a notice to remove all floating houses and fishing structures on Loktak lake.
- This has evoked a sharp reaction from the local Fishing Community & Homestay Operators.
What are the Issues?
- There is a Lack of regulation.
- There is a growing number of homestays and huts that are constructed and have put the lake at risk, and impacted the environment.
- There has been a sharp reduction in fish production and the traditional fisheries due to a major hydropower project that was started in 1983.
- Also, there is a loss of agricultural land due to inundation and increased levels of sediments and pollutants by untreated rivers.
What do we Know About Loktak lake?
- It’s located about 40 kilometres south of Imphal.
- It's the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India, the pristine Loktak Lake is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Manipur.
- Known for its floating circular swamps, which are called phumdis in the local tongue,
- The lake invites tourists from far and wide for its ethereal beauty.
- These swamps look almost like islands and are a mass of soil, organic matter, and vegetation.
- The lake houses the only floating national park in the world, the Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the last refuge of the endangered brow-antlered deer or sangai, Manipur's state animal.
- In addition, the lake shelters about 230 species of aquatic plants, 100 types of birds, and 400 species of fauna like barking deer, sambar, and Indian python.
- Loktak lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990.
- Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993.
- As most of the floating homestay operators are educated unemployed youths, the government authority should suggest redesign and help them to make necessary changes by introducing dos and don’ts.
- Further, there is a need for the collective responsibility of every stakeholder to contribute to its conservation and maintenance.