Manipur: Loktak Lake, a ‘money making machine’ for politicians

Manipur: Loktak Lake, a ‘money making machine’ for politicians

IMPHAL: Loktak the biggest freshwater lake in the Northeast states of India is undoubtedly the pride of Manipur.  The lake is both economically and ecologically important to the state and its people. However, fishing community of Thanga alleged that the lake is found to be a money spinning machine for politicians.

"Loktak is our mother; since time immemorial the lake has been feeding the people of Manipur and nourishing us", said a fisherwoman and resident of Thanga Salam Leikai, who has been fishing in the lake for almost a decade, while the 47-years-old woman added that lots have been changed in the last few years.

The population of fish in the lake has been decreased significantly and fishing community of Loktak lake are having a tough time to earn their livelihood out of their traditional occupation  of fishing, she said.

When asked about the changing scenario of the lake, Assistant Secretary of All Loktak Lake Area Fishermen Union (ALLAFUM), Deben told that the lake is a favourite place for politicians to play their political plays and make money.

As a routine activity, during the state tourism festival floating biomasses are removed from the lake. Interestingly, removing of phumdi (biomass) from the lake is an unending process. Phumdi removed from the lake would be dumped at another place and after sometime it would be kept again at its earlier place. This indefinite process of cleansing phumdi from the lake is just an act to eyewash the people and make money, Deben alleged.

During the last Sangai Festival-2014, the government removed phumdi from Ething and Sendra areas and it were dumped at nearby Komjin area causing inconvenience to the people at large. After some time, the phumdi were again dumped at Loktak Lake, he said.

Involvement of politicians and high level people in various "Saving Loktak" projects and activities worsen the situation, he said.

Feature image: flickr

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