(Contd from previous issue)
During the process of composting, the edible plants such as O. javanica, Neptunia oleracea, Centella asiatica, and C. esculenta or medicinal plants, Hedychium coronarium, Cynodon dactylon, Argyreia nervosa, and Z. latifolia will be converted into compost. Further, Loktak represents the largest fishery resource of Manipur accounting for more than 50% of its fish production. More than 19,000 tons of fish was harvested form Loktak and adjoining lakes of Manipur during 2010-11, with 39% of the harvest from athaphoom fishing, contributing significantly to the socio economy (LDA, 2011). Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP), a unique floating wildlife reserve in the world is a continuous mass of floating phoomdi biomass of near to 40 sq. km. It is the only natural habitat of the endangered species of Elds deer, Rucervus eldi eldi McClelland, with a population of near to < 200 heads in 2000. Loktak with its several islands located inside the wetland and surrounded by floating phoomdi of different geometrical shapes makes it a unique destination for tourism.
Thus, the aspects mentioned should be considered before proposing the conversion of the floating phoomdi of Loktak into compost otherwise it may lead to disturbance of the socio economy and ecology of the wetland and surrounding environment.
As there is an inherent risk of metal bioavailability to humans and other organisms if phoomdi – compost is applied to agricultural areas as an alternative for artificial fertilizers, long term field analysis is needed to investigate the bioavailability and leaching of metals into the environment. Therefore, application of phoomdi – compost and its use as a means to control phoomdi proliferation in Loktak is a promising hypothesis that needs further in-depth scientific study before use in the field for tomorrow but not quite an appropriate phoomdi managing plan for today. Concluded
The article was written by Dr. Maibam Dhanaraj Meitei, a resident of Kyamgei Maning Leikai, Imphal – 795003, Manipur
Source: The Sangai Express