Loktak Lake in Manipur

Apunba Loktak Ngami Sinmi Cooperative Society (ALNSCS) on July 27 demanded the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) to revoke its order to vacate unauthorized huts or homestays constructed on phumdis (floating biomass) on Loktak lake.

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A recent order of the LDA directed to remove all the unauthorized huts or homestays constructed on phumdis in Loktak lake within 15 days (on or before July 30).

While passing the order, the LDA observed that the growing number of huts or homestays has put the lake at risk impacting the natural environment adversely.

Such homestays have become a social issue as they are operated without proper regulations, it added.

Addressing a press conference in Impahl on July 27, ALNSCS general secretary Ningthoujam Raghu alleged that the order of the LDA violated the right to livelihood of the people inhabiting in and around the lake.

He alleged that the order came in an abrupt manner (without any prior warning) and without considering the people depending on the lake.

The eviction order will affect the fishermen of the Loktak lake the most, he also said.

Taking part in the press conference, general secretary of Loktak Floating Homestay Association (LFHA) Ningthoujam Ranjan reiterated the demand for LDA taking back the order.

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He said that earlier, representatives of the LFHA had held meetings with the LDA officials in the presence of Bishnupur deputy commissioner.

In one of the meetings, it was agreed to frame certain rules and regulations to be followed while operating the homestays in Loktak Lake.

The rules and regulations had already been drafted and put up for approval from the relevant authorities.

The order of the LDA came at a time the approval of the draft rules and regulations is being awaited.

He then warned that the two bodies will launch a series of intense agitation joining hands with the fishermen of the lake and those operating the homestays if the LDA authority fails to revoke the order on or before July 30.

Loktak, located in Manipur’s Bishnupur district, is the biggest freshwater lake in the northeast and is one of the Ramsar sites in India.

In the order issued on July 18 last, project director of LDA L Bhagaton Singh stated the state government is striving hard to rejuvenate the ecological condition of the Loktak lake and delist it from the Montreux Record.

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