Newly appointed Forest and Environment and Sericulture Minister Awangbow Newmai expressed the necessity of protection and preservation of Loktak Lake to save the life and future of Manipur.
Newmai was speaking at his ‘felicitation programme organised by the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) at the conference hall of LDA Secured Office Building Complex, near 2nd MR Gate on Wednesday.
Awangbow said that the problem of water scarcity is being faced in most places of state. Expressing concern that most of the rivers and water bodies of the state are drying up, he said that Loktak Lake would be the last resort if all the rivers and water bodies dry out.
Besides, the lake is a source of livelihood for thousands of people and as such, survival will be difficult without its existence, he asserted. Considering its significance, the protection and preservation of the Loktak Lake is equivalent to protecting the life and future of people of state, he added.
Stating about the importance of the Lake, he said that a day will surely come when the people of the state will fully depend on the lake. But the lake is being endangered due to various factors such as encroachment, reduction of water level etc. The people of the state will face extreme challenges ahead unless the lake is not saved, he cautioned.
Awangbow assured full cooperation from his side and welcomed ideas and suggestions from the officials of the LDA. He hoped that with the joint cooperation between the government, LDA officials and the people of the state will surely pave a way to save the Loktak Lake.
Chairman of LDA, L Sushindro, who attended the function, said that the state is facing floods every year due to inability of the rivers to drain water into Loktak Lake. The state government has to spend Rs 300- 400 every year in order to deal with the flood problem. To prevent such a scenario in the future, maintenance and preservation of the Loktak Lake, is much needed, he said.
He continued that the public can successfully save the Loktak Lake only when they accept it as their own asset. Continuous encroachment should be stopped as the size of Loktak Lake is decreasing to a level of one-third of its previous dimension, he appealed while urging the people of the state to extend their support and co-operation in protection and preservation of the Loktak Lake.
Additional chief secretary (Forest), MH Khan, project director, LDA, L Bhagaton Singh and officials of the LDA also attended the programme.