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Manipur: Loktak Lake chokes from a catastrophic project flagged off 50 years ago February 11,2020   |  Source: The Hindu

At 2.00 a.m., I wake up to the makings of a disaster; the lake is rising beneath me as rain charges down like a mob spiralling out of control. I am separated from the lake only by a tent resting on a mat of bamboo poles over a phumdi (an organic mass floating in the lake), relying on the physics of buoyancy that generations of Meitei fisherfolk have mastered. Dawn reveals the damage. The part of the phumdi on which my tent is pitched has nearly separated from the rest of the mass. Had the rain continued any longer, I would have been drifting on the lake on my own little island. As the fishermen fix the phumdi, I hike up a hill and look at the vast expanse of Loktak Lake. The overcast sky has rendered it a deep blue. Green rings — athaphum (circular fish culture ponds) — speckle its surface until the horizon where a long chain of mountains stand guard. Small huts sit on their peripheries, mere specks. Fishermen navigate their he (canoes) though the lake, splitting water and drawing tangents over the vegetation everywhere.

Malem, however, is unmoved by the sight in front of him. For the octogenarian, it brings back old memories. “My father and I were out fishing that day in March 1944. We had caught heaps of pengba, ngaton and khabak, and we were ready to head to the

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