Fishermen warn against taking up mega projects in Loktak Lake without prior consent of stakeholders

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Photo: The travelling slacker

Imphal: Fishermen on Tuesday raised a strong objection to the Manipur government’s plan to take up various development activities in the Loktak Lake with the funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Manipur government recently initiated works for taking up ‘Mega Tourism Project’ and ‘Loktak Lake Master Plan’ with the financial support from the ADB.

The Manipur Tourism department has initiated the projects to turn the Loktak Lake region into a major tourist destination and to provide a major boost to Manipur’s economy and creating additional employment opportunities for people of the state.

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“No development work should be implemented in the lake, one of the two biggest freshwater lakes in South Asia, without prior consultation and consent of the fishermen of the lake,” All Loktak Lake Area Fishers’ Union Manipur (ALLAFUM) and Champu Khangpok Floating Village Welfare Committee warned today.

A meeting of the two bodies held at Champu Khangpok, a floating village in the Loktak Lake, discussed the government proposal for taking up the two mega projects – Mega Tourism Project and Loktak Lake Master Plan.

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Talking to reporters on the sideline of the meeting, ALLAFUM general secretary Oinam Rajen said that the two bodies would welcome all activities of the government for the welfare of the fishing community and conservation of the lake. “The concerned authorities of the Manipur government should, however, hold consultations with the fishing community before taking the works. Their suggestions should also be incorporated while preparing the projects,” he demanded.

Ragen then said that many developmental works and welfare activities of the fishermen have been initiated by the state government,

“As none of the activities had benefited the fishermen due to lack of sincerity on the part of the implementing authorities, we have no confidence with any scheme or project taken up for the development of the lake and welfare of the fishermen” he added.

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