IMPHAL, June 23: A sit in protest cum public meeting was convened today at the Tokpa Ching Khuman Pokpa community hall raising strong protest against the decision of the State Forest department to translocate the endangered Sangai to Pumlen Pat.
The protest demonstration was jointly organised by the Pumlen Lake Development Organisation and Educational Guide Centre Tokpa Ching, under Hiyanglam Constituency Thoubal District and was attended by around 100 local residents from the surrounding areas.
The demonstrators also shouted slogans demanding protection of the Pumlen Pat and that the people should not be evicted for the sake of Sangai.
Pumlen Lake Development Organisation, general secretary Salam Sunil said the decision of the Manipur Forest department will not safeguard Sangai but will kill it.
The decision is also a threat to people inhabiting the surrounding areas of the lake, he continued.
Questioning how, the department will transport the endangered deer from Keibul Lamjao their natural habitat to Pumlen Pat, he said it will only killed the Sangai.
At the same time, the people living in the surrounding area depends on products from the lake and their evacuation will only mean more hardship for them, he added.
He said instead of wasting huge amount of money in the translocation process, it would be better to develop Sangai`™s natural habitat at Keibul Lamjao.
The government should not compare humans to Sangai, he said.
Speaking on the sideline of the meeting former BJP candidate from Hiyanglam Assembly Constituency, Maibam Dhanabir said he has submitted a proposal note for the Union Minister of Forest and Environment Prakash Javedkar for restoration and conservation of Pumlen Pat in Thoubal district under the National Lake Conservation Plan on March 27, 2014.
He said the note was submitted through BJP Manipur Pradesh general secretary Laimayum Bashanta Sharma.
And after a long gap on May 20 this year, he said he received a reply from the National River Conservation Directorate under Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, in which it was stated that the ministry has not received any project proposal for restoration and conservation of Pumlen Lake in Manipur under NWCP from Manipur government during the faceable year 2015-16 and as such the budget of the NPCA has been reduced from Rs 75 crores (proposed) to Rs 35 crores. He said the amount is not even sufficient for the ongoing sanctioned works and so the proposal of Pumlen Lake will be included in next budget, Dhanabir claimed.
BJP Vision Document chairman Prof Dr RK Ranjan who is also an environmentalist said that all grievances said all these grievances faced by the public is due to the Loktak Project.
He continued the expert team seeking a second home for Sangai in the 1990`™s, had never considered the Pumlen Lake. The team had targeted Moirang Kom, but found it entitled under some associations and had to be discarded, he said.
Pumlen Pat was considered for setting up a Bird Sanctuary Park, but during a survey of the hill in the middle of the lake found human settlement and the project had to be cancelled, he continued.
He continued the phumdis found in Pumlem Pat is not the same variety as those found in Keibul Lamjao and is not suitable for Sangai`™s habitation.