Thanga Locals Raise Voice Against Loktak Act

IMPHAL, Feb 26: Raising strong voice against the Manipur Loktak Lake (Protection) Act, 2006, locals of Thanga Khunjao today set aflame of copies of the Act apart from taking out a protest rally.

It may be mentioned that the State Government has taken up various measures, including displacement and rehabilitation of fishermen and cleaning of phumdis (floating biomass) from the Core and Buffer zones of the lake, in a bid to protect the lake.

Today’s uprising against the Act was the fallout of Loktak Development Authority (LDA) officials’ survey conducted yesterday to identify the areas occupied by the locals of Thanga Khunjao for cleaning up works.

A villager, Salam Budhi said, “We won’t allow the Government to snatch away our livelihood by segregating us from mother Loktak Lake.”

“We will fight for our rights even if we have to sacrifice our lives”, he added.

He further said that LDA officials forcibly took signatures from some innocent villagers yesterday.

The officials insisted the villagers to switch over to other means of earnings like piggery and poultry, which according to the villagers is just an effort to befool them.

Making clear that the villagers would never agree to such terms, Budhi asserted that they won’t move an inch from their stand.

He added that the Act would break the age-old bond between the lake and its people. The Act does not allow the villagers to freely carry out various chores of livelihood activities which the villagers have been following since time immemorial.

Rebuffing the claim of the State Government that villagers and fishermen pollute the lake with fishing activities, Salam Budhi contended that Loktak Lake is not polluted by the villagers but by toxic chemicals flowing down from Nambul River. The irate rallyists also blocked Moirang Thanga road for some time and shouted slogans like, ‘Save Loktak Lake’, and ‘Do not snatch away our rights’ etc.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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