The Central Government on Friday formed a five-member committee for conservation and management of Loktak Lake in Manipur. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which constituted the committee, said the team will visit Loktak Lake soon and hold discussions with the State Government, its concerned agencies and other stakeholders. The consultations will also include people living in the vicinity of the lake.
The team includes adviser, MoEFCC, Dr R Dalwani, DIG (WL), MoEFCC, SP Vashisht, In-charge, Sikkim Unit, GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development, Dr HK Badhola, Deputy Director, National River Conservation Directorate (NCRD), Chandan Singh and adviser, NCRD, Brijesh Sikka.
The terms of reference of the team include review of the implementation of works carried out with financial assistance provided by the Central and State Governments, so far for the conservation and management of Loktak Lake and suggest further interventions required for conserving the lake in a holistic manner.
The Central team will also enumerate the steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and identify the steps and actions to be taken to increase the tourism potential of Loktak Lake. The Ministry has asked the team to submit a report at the earliest, said official sources.
Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is one of the major tourist spot of Manipur. It 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.