Calls to save Loktak Lake reverberate

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IBOBI

Saving Loktak bouden duty of the people, says Chief Minister

BISHNUPUR, October 8: Loktak Lake is nature`™s invaluable gift to the people of Manipur. Trying to save the lake from further pollution and degradation is our bounden duty, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh said today.

The Chief Minister was attending the 25th Loktak Day observation as the chief guest at the Sendra Tourist Ground.

Safeguarding the Loktak Lake from further pollution will not only be beneficial to the environment but will also help in attracting more tourists, he continued.

Developing the lake is a common issue for all of us, Ibobi told the gathering.

He said the government is trying hard to tackle the issue by properly seeking out the vulnerable areas which are leading to its pollution.

Elaborating further, he said siltation is one problem which is leading to the degradation of the lake. Cutting down of trees in the hills is leading to silting in the rivers which feed the lake, Ibobi observed.

He said rivers like the Nambol River are feeding polluted water into the lake leading to its further degradation.

The government is also finding ways to treat the polluted river water before it reaches the lake, he continued.

According to the Chief Minister, other steps taken up to check siltation include planting of trees in the catchment areas, cleaning and digging up the lake using new technologies.

The government needs cooperation from the people inhabiting the surrounding areas of Sendra in its effort to conserve the lake, he asserted.

He continued that the locals will not be forced out like animals as rehabilitation or resettlement arrangements will be made for them. He also appealed against construction of huts on the phumdis in the name of fishing.

The Chief Minister also observed that the Takmu Regional Sports Complex would be a more suitable location for the Canoeing and Kayaking complex than Komlakhong.

He further appealed to all against politicising sports and said the National Academy of Sports Manipur was not brought to the State by the Congress or the BJP, but due to the hard-work of the sportspersons.

He continued that all political parties are invited to attend the October 11 felicitation of the sportspersons and team officials from the State who had participated in the Incheon Asian Games.

Today`™s observation was also attended by Thanga MLA T Mangibabu as president, parliamentary secretary Mairembam Prithiviraj, Kumbi MLA S Bira, Bishnupur adhyaksha zilla parishad Th Ithoibi Devi, Indian Canoeing and Kayaking Association national vice president Jotin Waikhom and ex-minister and Loktak Festival Celebration Committee president Heisnam Sanayaima as guests of honour. The observation was organised by the Loktak Lake Development Organisation.

Meanwhile, the day was also observed at the Loktak Lairembi Ground, Thanga under the theme `Save Loktak Save Environment and Save Life`™ organised by the Loktak Festival Celebration Committee, Thanga.

The observation was attended by Thanga zilla parishad member Ningthoujam Dinesh as chief guest, Thanga Part I pradhan Haobijam Tharongou Devi as president and Bishnupur adhyaksha Th Ithoibi Devi, upa-adhyaksha A Brojen and Thanga part II pradhan kh Binarani as guests of honour.

Environmentalist Dr RK Ranjan, (retd) lecturer O Tomba, prof N Joykumar, sr asst professor Dr H Nilakanta also spoke as resource persons.

The main highlights of the day were cultural shows, Tapta musical night, etc.

Meanwhile, it is also learnt that there was a brief commotion at the Sendra Tourist ground venue of the day, when certain individuals believed to be representatives of the Moirang Municipal Council came on stage and complained against identifying the venue as Sendra Thanga while stating that it should be Thanga Moirang.

The observation was disrupted for sometime after the candle lighting programme. At the same time a bandh was called at Moirang Bazar against putting the venue as Thanga.

The commotion ended after the Thanga written on the banner of the observation was covered up.

At the same time, the suspected Moirang Municipal Council representatives asked the media persons to report the venue as Moirang, representatives of the Thanga panchayat representatives came and asked the media persons to report it as Thanga.

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