IMPHAL, Jul 4 (DIPR): For overall improvement and management and to check the deteriorating conditions and to bring about improvement along with development in the fields of fisheries, agriculture, tourism and afforestation of the Loktak Lake, the main tourist attraction of the State, the Govt of Manipur constituted Loktak Development Authority (LDA) in 1986. Under the project “Conservation and Management of Loktak Lake” major activities viz manage-ment of phumdis in the Loktak lake, improvement of drainage system, de-siltation at the critical areas, construction of cross regulator, catchment area conservation, construction of sanitary toilets, biodiversity, enhancement of fish resources with the establishment of hatchery, operationalisation of hatcheries etc have been taken up.
The Loktak Development Authority rejuvenated Loktak Lake through project intervention with the financial support from NEC, MOEF and Planning Commission as the overall ecosystem of the lake is improving on various parameters. Restoration of the open water regime in the central sector of the lake by removing athaphums, phum huts with the control of further proliferation is the most significant achievement.
With the support of Forest Department, degraded forest areas in the lake catchment are being restored through intensive plantation works and livelihood improvement programmes. In convergence with the total sanitation programme, PHED has cons- tructed sanitary toilets in the island and lake shore villages for improving the quality of living and ecosystem health of the lake. Fisheries have been developed by operation-alising community based hatcheries in the lake shore villages to enhance the fish productivity. Management of the lake basin has been made more effective through various policy instruments and legislating supported by awareness and education programmes. Govt of Manipur aims to integrate the associated wet- lands of Loktak Lake to bring about comprehensive management of this priceless natural capital. In order to address livelihood issues of the wetland dependent communities, livelihood pro- grammes and cultural heritage based tourism will be promoted. The Loktak Lake serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fishermen who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”. Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem. 55 rural and urban hamlets around the lake have a population of about 100,000 people.
The LDA has been working earnestly for maintaining of ecosystem balance and to bring economic development for the people in the area. Some of the works taken up by LDA are: desiltation at the critical areas (12.19. Lcum), removal of phumdis (257.91 Lcum), removal of athaphum/ alternate fishing gear (providing economic package to athaphum owners) flushing out phumdis in 127.25 Lsqm, removal of phumdis from drainage system in 4.20 Lcum, removal of phumhuts under livelihood programme (providing economic packages to the owner) , total sanitation coverage, establishment of 16 hatchery units, improvement of drainage system, chanelisation of river/streams, phumdi compost, six cross regulator, water master classic III, hydraulic excavators, Tata tippers, administrative building phase ll, Lake restocking, afforestation in the catchment area, aided regeneration, agro forestry, small scale engineering works, contour trenching, vegetative check dam, Gabion check dam, bamboo spur, boulder sausages, water harvesting structure, alternate source of energy, community participation, institution formation of community, diversion channel, cultural operation, plantation of banana, pineapple etc.