The Manipur High Court on Friday told authorities to ensure that no development works are initiated in and around Loktak lake without court’s permission. This had come following the directions from the Supreme Court wherein the High Court of Manipur initiated the proceedings to conserve Loktak Lake and directed the authorities of the lake in July 2019 that no project or development programme on Loktak lake could be initiated by any authority without its permission.
In the division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Kumar and Justice A Bimol of the High Court of Manipur, the state authority counsel on Friday sought time to file a comprehensive reply.
Granting the time till April 8, 2022 for next hearing, the HC told to address specifically on the steps taken by the state government in response to the issues raised by the Ministry of Environment, Government of India in ‘wise use plan’ and more particularly, the absence of a brief document.
The HC took up the case on its own motion following the direction of the Supreme Court in 2017 and as a response, the HC has added Loktak Development Authority and State Wetland Authority.
In meantime, the LDA and Directorate of Tourism was granted permission to proceed with the tendering for eco-tourism project and the inland waterways improvement project by the HC on October 12, 2020.
However, the HC in May 24, 2018 directed the state wetland authority to prepare an integrated management plan and brief document under Rule 7, for the preservation of the lake. But while submitting the brief document, the state government submitted a ‘wise use management plan’ to the court. The court rejected it for being inadequate and ordered the state government to prepare a detailed integrated management plan and get it reviewed by the environment ministry to ensure compliance with the wetland rules.
After five months, the state wetland authority informed the court that it had prepared a more detailed plan and sent it on to the environment ministry for review.
Meanwhile the ALLAFUM filed a review petition against its order permitting the tenders for the projects.