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Manipur: Loktak Development Authority advocates for swift approval for conservation plans

Manipur: Loktak Development Authority advocates for swift approval for conservation plans

The Loktak Development Authority (LDA) today engaged in a crucial meet with Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change with the focus on the conservation and revival efforts for Loktak Lake and its associated wetlands.

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The Loktak Development Authority (LDA) today engaged in a crucial meet with Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change with the focus on the conservation and revival efforts for Loktak Lake and its associated wetlands.

M. Asnikumar Singh, Chairman of Loktak Development Authority (LDA), engaged in a significant meeting with Smt Leena Nandan, IAS, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India, at the Parayavaran Bhawan in New Delhi on yesterday. 

Chairman Singh emphasized the urgency for approval of the Integrated Management Plan (IMP), stating, "Loktak is the cradle of Manipuri civilization, its soul and an ecological wonder. The conservation of Loktak Lake is paramount, and the swift approval of the IMP is crucial for its sustainable management."

The meeting addressed various pressing issues, including the modernization of the Loktak Hydro Project and the precarious state of Keibul Lamjao Floating National Park, home to the endangered Sangai deer. Chairman Singh shared the state government's vision for revitalizing Loktak Lake, noting, "Our commitment extends to preserving the unique ecosystem of Loktak Lake, and we seek collaboration for its comprehensive rejuvenation."

Opportunities for eco-tourism were explored to promote Loktak Lake's cultural significance globally. Chairman LDA expressed, "We aim to generate employment and raise awareness about the environmental importance of wetlands, aligning with LDA's conservation mission."

Secretary Nandan pledged to expedite the approval of the IMP, assuring, "We are committed to all possible measures and assistance for the revival of Loktak Lake and its associated wetlands." She expressed serious consideration for the modernization plan of the Loktak Hydel Project, promising a thorough review.

Dr Sujeetkumar Bajpayee, Joint Secretary (Wetlands) from the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Government of India, also participated in the meeting, emphasizing the collaborative efforts for sustainable management.

The Hon'ble Chairman also engaged with representatives from Oil India Limited and other bio-fuel experts to deliberate on the conversion of phumdis (floating biomass) into organic fertilizers. Additionally, they explored the utilization of biomass as an organic fuel source for generating biomass energy. Given the challenge of high phumdi proliferation in Loktak Lake, this process holds potential to generate employment and offer the lake dwellers an alternative source of income.

Since 2017-18, LDA has diligently urged the Ministry to green-light the IMP for Loktak Lake. The anticipated approval would signify a pivotal milestone in ongoing conservation efforts. Collaboratively crafted by Wetland South Asia (WISA) and LDA, the IMP encapsulates a comprehensive strategy for sustainable management.

"The IMP serves as a blueprint for holistic conservation practices," stated Chairman Singh. "It fosters a harmonious balance between environmental preservation and sustainable usage, reflecting the shared responsibility and expertise invested in this crucial initiative."

As the advocacy continues, the hopeful prospect of securing approval for the IMP fuels optimism for the future, ensuring the longevity of Loktak Lake and its associated wetlands for generations to come.

Edited By: Joydeep Hazarika
Published On: Dec 09, 2023