Floating lab to test Loktak water
The floating laboratory, perhaps the first of its kind in India, is an initiative of the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development (IBSD), Imphal to monitor the quality of the water in Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in the Northteast.
The laboratory will test the quality of water four times a year, covering all the four seasons at 15 different spots in the lake. The IBSD procured a boat and equipments for monitoring the purity of the lake water. Five scientists are engaged for the laboratory test.
Welcoming the initiative of IBSD, a central institute based at Takyel in Imphal West, Shyamkumar said the state government will extend all possible helps to the institute’s reasearch work.
“The quality of water is changing in the lake because of environmental degradation and pullution of river water. As per the findings of the research activities the forest and environment department and Loktak Development Authority (LDA) will take steps to improve the eco-system of the lake,” Shyamkumar told reporters after the launch.
The director of the institute, Dinabandhu Sahoo said five scientists will work in the lake round the year. He claimed that the quality of lake water has worsened over the years due to various reasons.
The director of LDA, Longjam Bhagaton, however, claimed that the quality of the lake water has improved considerably during the past one decade.
Sahoo said that the institute worked for four months procuring the boat for the laboratory, redesigning it and getting the equipments.
Loktak is one of the Ramsar sites and also included in the Montreux Record, which listed wetlands listed as Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred. The efforts of the institute, LDA and state government is to pull Loktak out of the Montreux Record.
The IBSD and officials of the LDA visited a phumhut in the middle of the lake to see the quality of living of the lake dwellers.
“There are a lot of mosquitoes in the phumhuts. The living condition is not hygienic. The institute will also study the quality of life of the lake dwellers and make recommendations on how to improve their life,” Sahoo said.
He further said that a study will also be carried out to convert the water plants into organic fertilizer and other forms economically useful.
Stating that the LDA does not have well equipped laboratory Bhagaton said the LDA will use the data collected by the IBSD laboratory and use it for improvement activities in the lake.
Environmentalist and vice-chairman of Manipur Infrastructure Development Agency, Asnikumar Moirangthem, who was also present during the launch said “it is high time Loktak pat is dealt ecologically and to convert the bio-resources of the lake into bio-economy for sustainability of the lake and its people.”
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