MOIRANG (MANIPUR), April 6 - In an effort to address the issues arising out of the changing ecosystem of the Loktak, a two-day Consultation Meet began here at Moirang, a historic town located on the bank of the lake, on Wednesday.
Loktak Lake is not only the largest freshwater lake in the North East but also the largest lake in the Manipur river basin, covering 61 per cent of the total area of wetlands in the State.
The consultation which was organised by Bishnupur- based People�s Resources Development Association (PRDA) in collaboration with ActionAID Association of India, was attended by teachers, activists, journalists, students, representatives of local organisations and fisherman bodies.
Speaking on the occasion, forest and floral diversity expert Dr H Nandiram, said the hydrological system of the Loktak Lake has been drastically changed due to human pressure.
�The time has come to revive the reserve forests in hill slopes facing the lake and release only the recycled or treated water from the polluted rivers which are flowing into the lake,� a former Botany teacher opined. About 37 rivers, rivulets and streams including the polluted Nambul, Merakhong and Waishel flows into Loktak.
Dr Nandiram suggested introduction of fish stair at Ethai dam site so that the migratory freshwater fish can visit Loktak as in the past or the authority concerned should introduce these fishes after collection from its natural habitat.
Highlighting the importance of the Lake, environmental activist Salam Rajesh shared case stories relating to conservation activities at the community level particularly in the catchments areas, while RK Birjit, State coordinator of IBCN, spoke about the importance of conserving the natural ecosystem of the lake particularly the migratory waterfowl as these birds act as a natural tool to measure the water quality of the lake and also in improving the surrounding vegetation. Rajen Oinam, representing the fishermen community, spoke of the changing character of the lake after construction of Ethai dam and enactment of Loktak Protection Act, 2006.