Pothashang News Service: Imphal, May 11, 2018: The All Loktak Lake Areas Fishermen’s Union Manipur (ALLAFUM) strongly condemns the press statement made by Loktak Development Authority (LDA) on May 4 with regard to conservation of cultural heritage, ecosystem management and control of catchment area, water pollution including removal of Phumdis.
In a press statement released by the fishermen union it said LDA has been institutionalised for 10 years but it fails to mention NHPC and its Ithai Barrage which is the main agent that is causing irreparable damage to Loktak’s ecosystem and its people.
LDA has been blaming the people of Loktak for polluting Loktak, however, all of Manipur knows that the main problem is the solid and liquid wastes that comes from the streams and rivers, particularly that of Nambul river. All kinds of biomedical waste, domestic waste, agricultural residues such as pesticides, fertilizers flow directly into Loktak without any treatment. LDA has been turning a blind eye and has done nothing about this issue, it added.
LDA is polluting Loktak by their use of machineries like motorboats, dredgingMachine, water master etc. which leaks oil directly to the wetland said the press statement.
LDA claims to have preserved the natural and cultural heritage, but they have illegally burnt down 777 Phum out of 1147 Phumsang inside Loktak thereby directly threatening the unique cultural heritage which is also a Ramsar site, counter the fishermen union.
The statement said LDA has been constructing Inland Water Ways Complex at Sendra, dumping of phumdis at the lake shore for conversion of lake land reclamation in the form of playground which is against the Wetlands Rules and Ramsar Convention and its guidelines. The process of lake shore reclamation is directly threatening the life span of Loktak and its ecosystem, it added.
The construction of surface road inside Loktak from Toubul to Mayang lmphal is another glaring example that directly threatens the size and lifespan. The proposed surface ring road of 80 Km will directly threaten the ecosystem of Loktak and affect the state food sovereignty. LDA is abiding the Manipur Loktak Protection Act 2006 and urge the Loktak fishers to abide the Act in the press statement, while the Loktak wetlands dependents and fishers have been surviving along with the lake by locally conserving, managing and promoting the wetlands and its ecosystem since time immemorial. LDA must learn lessons from Loktak wetlands dependents, said the statement
In the name of abiding LPA 2006 LDA have illegally burned down Phumsangs, LDA must clarify the particular section of law that permits burning down of these Phumsangs. LDA have been wilfully violating the High Court’s Order of Jannuary 25, 2012, the subsequent violation have attracted two contempt cases, it blames
ALLAFUM urges to repeal the LPA 2006 ‘as in contravention to the existing law of the land and its equivalent to AESPA’ to save Loktak wetlands.