IMPHAL, December 26: The Loktak Development Authority (LDA) is the one destroying the environment and eco-system of Loktak Lake and not the fishermen residing in an around Loktak Lake.
This was claimed by All Loktak Lake Area Fisherman’s Union Manipur secretary of O Rajen Singh during a press conference held at the Manipur Press Club today.
Continuing his charge, Rajen said that LDA worked for their vested interest and is not concern about the welfare of Loktak and its people.
Criticizing the LDA claim of completing 90 percent of the cleaning process of the lake to be baseless and an effort to deceive the people, he demanded the government and other CSOs to investigate into the claim to bring out the truth.
He said the LDA’s other claim that it is the owner of the Loktak Lake is a delusive claim.
He clarified the Loktak Lake had existed before the LDA was even conceived and so it cannot claim ownership of the lake.
The lake should be an independent entity of its own, he said.
The fishermen had been protecting the lake since a longtime back, whereas in the name of cleaning the lake, the LDA has committed only harmful activities on the lake and the people living in and around the lake, he claimed.
Allegations of the LDA that the fishermen and their floating huts are the ones destroying the lake is strongly condemnable, he said before adding that if the government wants to clean the lake, it should stop all the pollution made by the waters of Nambul River and others flowing into the lake.
He further warned to launch various agitations for compensations of the various huts destroyed in the name of cleaning the lake.
He claimed that of the 1110 huts on the phumdis of the lake, the authorities had reported that 777 huts were inspected and another 298 huts were left out of inspection although the huts were razed down.
He further claimed that compensation money was not also provided to many affected households while many others had not received proper compensation.
Rajen demanded the authorities to pay the compensation at the earliest.
He said the union has already submitted an appeal to the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to issue an order for the LDA to comply with its earlier order against the use of motor boats in the Loktak Lake that disturbs and destroys the aquatic plants and animals threatening the environment and its biodiversity and implementation of sanitary latrine program in the lake phumhuts.
He said although the Union Ministry had directed the LDA project director not to use motor boats in the lake and implement the use of sanitary latrines on the phumdis, the LDA has been neglecting the order and has still not implemented the same.