IMPHAL, November 25: The All Loktak Lake Fisherman Union today organised a joint public meeting at Thanga Chingyang Community Hall and deliberated on the grievances of displaced Loktak fishers from the eviction drive of the state government. The displaced fishers after being driven out of Imphal where they had arrived to submit a memorandum to the state authority and to organize a peaceful rally have been seeking refuge at the community hall with help from the local populace.
The meeting was attended by representatives of Citizen Concern for Dam and Development, All Manipur United Club Organization, United People’s Front, HERICOUN, NIPCO, Apunba Lub and the local public.
After a deliberate discussion on the main grievances faced by the displaced fishers, the meeting decided to submit a memorandum to the state government demanding total repeal of the Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 under which the government has initiated the eviction of the fishers from the core zone area of Loktak Lake and the revocation of the eviction order of Phumdi huts from the zone issued by the Loktak Development Authority on November 11.
While highlighting the Loktak downstream project and the Ithai Barrage as the main factors leading to the eroding sanctity of Loktak Lake, the meeting further demanded from the government to review the two projects.
It has further demanded that instead of blaming the fishers for the eroding surroundings of Loktak Lake, the authorities concerned should review the projects and if necessary the government should decommissioned the Ithai Barrage project.
Deliberating on the issue, CCDD joint secretary, Y Jiten stated that the state government is trying to curtail the livelihood of the people in the state by imposing Acts like the Loktak Lake protection Act. The government has failed to take into consideration the people’s mandate before imposing such acts which could affect the lives of many, which amounts to violation of human rights, he added.
In showing solidarity with the displaced fishers of Loktak Lake, convenors of the Working Committee of Apunba Lup, Salam Kiran, Sunil Karam, Bikramjeet and Phunindro condemned the government’s act.
They further stated that the eviction of the fisher families in the name of saving Loktak Lake should be condemned by all.
They further stated that the civil bodies of the state will tender their support to the demands of the displaced Loktak lake fishers.