Imphal, Dec 28 (IANS): Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav on Monday said the Loktak lake in Manipur, the largest freshwater lake in the entire northeast region, has floating land masses and 'phumdis' (series of floating lakes) available cannot be found in other places in the world.
The Loktak is not only a lake but also an important historic landmark of India's independence struggle. It is a sacred place from where Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose showed the dream of an independent India to the people of the country, he added.
The Minister said that everyone should think of developing the natural gift of nature as the periphery of the Loktak lake has a lot of species, including the endangered ones and lakhs of migratory birds arriving in the lake. He opined that development cannot be done without local participation.
Loktak lake, Deepor Beel in Guwahati, and Rudrasagar in Tripura are the three lakes in northeast India which are categorised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. This convention provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
Addressing a gathering at a function organised by the Loktak Development Authority at the Loktak Inland Water Transport complex in Sendra, Yadav added that it is our responsibility to fully implement the integrated management plan of Loktak lake and as a Union Minister he fully takes the responsibility.
He said development means to protect the natural beauty of the area, including the protection of the biodiversity, and to give a dignified life by uplifting the economic status of the people living in and around the periphery of the lake.
He assured the people that he would be coming back to the state in January 2022 to sit along with representatives of the local authority, villagers and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to discuss the integrated plan.
Yadav assured that he will give full support to the work plan taken up by the state government. The Union Minister on Monday took stock of the situation of the Loktak lake and Keibul Lamjao National Park in Bishnupur district which is an abode to various flora and fauna, including the state animal Sangai.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said the government is unable to timely and wisely utilise the gift given by nature in the various forms of flora and fauna which is abundantly found in the state.
Stating that presently the Centre has recommended Rs 1,450 crore for the state, he added, the focus of the state government is to make Manipur as the number one tourist destination in the country.
The Forest department officials highlighted various flora and fauna found in the area and various reports regarding developmental efforts taken by the department for the protection and conservation of biodiversity in the area.
India Tourism Development Corporation Chairman Sambit Patra, Loktak Development Authority Chairman Sushindro Metei, among other officials were present in the event.