IMPHAL, April 19: The government has acquired a Watermaster Classic III to be used for the cleaning of the floating biomass (Phumdis) of Loktak Lake which was formally launched today by Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.
Speaking during a formal launching ceremony, the Chief Minister O Ibobi said that the machine was acquired by the state government at the cost of more than Rs 3.5 crore from M/S Auamech Ltd., a Finland based company.
He further added that the machine is the fourth of its kind to be put into use in the country with Jammu and Kashmir already using two and New Delhi using another for the cleaning purpose of the river Ganga.
Further briefing the inaugural ceremony, he asserted that the newly acquired machine will be used on a trial basis.
He also added that if the machine is beneficial in the process of cleaning up the wetlands of Loktak lake, then the state will further acquire more such machines and employ them to clean up the various water bodies in the state including the rivers in an round the state and in the cleaning of the proposed regional water complex, which the government is mulling over to set up at the Loktak Lake as a tourist spot.
The Chief Minister also said that the state has already acquired a 500 acre land in the Takmu area to be used for the construction of an eco friendly park.
Regarding land acquisition for the said park, he also said that the government has already sanctioned a total of Rs 6 crore as compensation for the nearby villagers. He also added that another Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for the land acquisition for widening of the Moirang Lamkhai to Sendra road.
The government cannot start proper work for the widening of the road until the villagers vacate the acquired land, he further added.
While maintaining that public`™s participation and cooperation is needed to enhance the natural beauty of the Loktak Lake, he added that without the cooperation of the public the government can`™t do anything.
Meanwhile, forest and environment minister Th Debendra while speaking during the ceremony added that the people of the state have a big role to play in saving the future of Loktak Lake. He also added that only a properly trained person will be allowed to use the newly acquired machine, which will be put into use from today itself.
The ceremony was also attended by veterinary and social welfare minister N Loken, local MLA M Prithiviraj, MLA Thanga Mangibabu, Oinam MLA Dr I Ibohanbi, Thongju MLA Bijoy Koijam, Mayang Imphal MLA Dr Ratan among others.