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Fishermen launch movement to save Loktak lake

Imphal: Fishermen and people residing around Loktak lake at Bishenpur district carried out a campaign to save the lake which is one of the biggest fresh water lake in Asia.

Fishermen went around the villages in and around the lake and spread awareness about the need of conserving the lake.

The campaign was carried out as part of a week-long observance of International River Day organised by Committee of International River Day Celebration Week-2013 . The observation began on Tuesday last.

The fishermen said there are a large numbers of houses floating on the lake and residing near the lakes, however, Loktak Development Authority (LDA) assisted by Manipur Police have pulled down the houses and destroyed fishing nets. Fishing is the only livelihood of the people living near the lake.

Since 2011, the LDA had embarked on a mission to make the lake completely free from all floating houses which it felt was damaging the lake.

Of the 1200 houses about 900 houses have been dismantled and the fishermen went to Gauhati High Court to lodge their complaint.

On January 25, 2012 the Gauhati High Court asked LDA to stop dismantling the floating huts . Oinam Rajen Secretary of the Committee said inspite of the court order eviction works were still going on.

Sit in protests were also held by the fishermen and speakers urged the government to check the activities of the National Hydro Power Corporation which threaten to destroy the lake as it has constructed a dam.

The natural flow of the lake has been stopped by the NHPC and the size of the lake is decreasing increasingly, it was added. The fishermen will continue the campaign for sometime until their demands are fulfilled. (UNI)

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