Manipur Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbow Newmai after holding a meeting with the Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav on Sunday, said that the Centre has assured to provide Rs 97 crore to protect the famous Loktak Lake.
Loktak lake in Manipur's Bishnupur district, Deepor Beel in Guwahati and Rudrasagar lake in western 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.
Minister Newmai told the media that the Sunday's review meeting in presence of the central minister was held with an objective to save the Loktak Lake. He said the Union Minister gave assurance to give his full support to all the plans to preserve and protect the lake, which has floating land masses and 'phumdis' (series of floating lakes) available which cannot be found in other places in the world.
"The Union Minister gave his commitment to provide Rs 97 crore to undertake various protection measures of the Loktak Lake," the state minister said.
Loktak Development Authority Chairman L.S. Meitei said that the Union Minister is concerned with the conservation efforts of the Loktak Lake. "A detailed conservation plan was put up in the Sunday's review meeting. The plan also included to provide sustainable livelihood for fishermen in the periphery area," Meitei said.
The Union Environment Minister's meeting was the second within a week on the development and protection of Loktak Lake. Yadav earlier said that 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.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh earlier 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.
In Sunday's review meeting representatives of various NGOs including Good Will Mission Manipur, Joint Coordination Committee on Wildlife and Biodiversity, Environmental Social Reformation and Sangai Protection Forum, the Yaralpat Integarted Farming Cooperative Society, Loktak Lake Tourism Development Cooperative Society Ltd Sendra and Loktak View Point Development Organisation were present.
The meeting was also attended by the senior officials of the Forest Department including Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force Dr Aditya Kumar Joshi.
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