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Manipur: Inland waterways project will destroy Loktak Lake’s biodiversity, says fishing community December 02,2019   |  Source: The New Indian Express

The fishing community residing in and around the Loktak Lake area has strongly objected to the Inland waterway project to be developed on the water body claiming it will destroy its biodiversity and the livelihood of fisherfolks. Mansukh Mandaviya, minister incharge for Shipping and Chemical and Fertilizers, last Thursday informed the Parliament that the Ministry of Shipping has approved a project for the development of Loktak inland waterways. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 25.58 crore.

The minister claimed that the project will help boost tourism and connectivity in the largest freshwater lake in the entire Northeast. Some people have already raised a red flag for the proposed project on the grounds that it will be harmful to biodiversity. O. Rajen, secretary Loktak Lake Area Fishermen’s Union Manipur (ALLAFUM), contended that the project could spell disaster for both the fishing community and sensitive biodiversity. He claimed that people residing in and around the lake have been eking out their living from the water body since time immemorial and fishing is their main occupation. At least 4,000 fisherfolks reside in and around the lake.

“Uses of motorboats will greatly disturb the eco-system of the Lake. It will only affect the breeding of fish but also

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Years in Support of Small Scale Fishworkers (1986 - 2018)