MPP bats for Loktak fishermen

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IMPHAL May 8: A one day youth conference on the theme “The Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006 and its effect to the Loktak area fisherman and the role of Manipur Peoples Party” was held today at Thanga Haorang Chingya organized by the Manipur People Party, Youth Thanga Kendra Committee today.The conference was attended by MPP president Nimaichand Luwang and leader, MPP Legislative Party and present MLA O. Joy Singh with around 200 fishermen settled around the Thanga areas.The discussion during the conference was mainly on the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006 and its effect on the daily livelihood of the fishermen of the area since the implementation of the act in 2006 by the state government.The discussion on deliberated on the role of the MPP regarding the issue.The conference also decided that the MPP will demand the government to review the Act and that the party will take up a big role in the demand in the interest of the fisherman of the area.Another resolution of the discussion maintained that even though the Act had been implemented with the intention of saving Loktak and its beauty, unfortunately the implementing bodies have failed to realize that Loktak Lake provides livelihood to thousands of fishermen who are negatively affected by the implementation of the act. And that in such a scenario the state government should review the Section 20 of the Act as a welfare measure for the affected fishermen.The party also resolved to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) to the High Court as a part to save the Phumdis (floating Biomass) which are the main resting place of the fishermen. During the conference the party also agreed to demand the government for construction of Disposable Sanitary System and sanitary latrines at the Thanga area.Terming Loktak as a goddess for the fishermen, a member of the Loktak Area Ngami Kanba Lup N Thasana Devi stated that the fishermen of the area are totally dependent on the lake for their livelihood and maintenance of their families; however the implementation of the Act has negatively impacted their livelihood. Declaring confusion over the government’s act to allow them to fish without fishing equipments, she further decried the act for banning the fishermen from entering the CORE zone and fishing there.She further questioned the government that without an ounce of land in their names they depend on the lake for everything and now with the implementation of the Act how will the fishermen survive and feed their children.She also stated that fishermen of the area believe in simple living and do not mix and support UGs and as such the fishermen condemned the government act of destroying their Atha Phums, rest huts built on the phumdis.She further requested the concerned authorities and political parties to help them from the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006 and its Section 20. MPP youth president Maniton Mangang who attended the conference as the guest of honour, stated that the Manipuris love eating fish delicacies however the state is still unable to produce enough to supply for the state.He further added that the harassment meted out to the fishermen of the area in the form of Section 20 of Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act 2006 will not only affect them but, the whole state population will feel it as most fresh and dry fish in the state are brought from the Loktak lake only. He further added that even though the MPP welcomes the Act which has been implemented to develop Loktak lake and build attractive tourist spot around the area, the party is against the Section 20 of the Act which has seize the livelihood of the thousands of fishermen.

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