Loktak Lake Current Affairs - 2019
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India’s first floating elementary school named Loktak Elementary Floating School was inaugurated at Langolsabi Leikai of Champu Khangpok floating village on Loktak Lake in Manipur.
The first of its kind school aims to provide education to drop outs students as well as illiterate adults. Currently it will provide education to around 40 children from Class I-III by engaging two local teachers.
It was opened under the initiative undertaken by All Loktak Lake Fisherman’s Union with the support of an NGO People Resources Development Association (PRDA).
The school was established to arrest the sudden high dropout rate of children living in the Champu Khangpok floating villages who were rendered homeless due to the recent evacuation of phumdis. More than 700 floating huts were removed by Loktak Development Authority as part of clearing encroachment in the lake under the Loktak Lake (Protection) Act 2006. It had resulted in displacement of the fishing community and their children who were forced to discontinue their education.
About Loktak lake
- Loktak lake is the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. It is referred as the lifeline of Manipur and plays an important role in the economy of Manipur.
- The ancient lake is famous for the phumdis (also known as “phumshongs”), the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition floating over it.
- It serves as a source of water for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower generation for the local people. It is also a source of livelihood for the rural fisherman.
- Keibul Lamjao National Park is one of Phumdis in the lake. It is only floating national park in world and is last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
- It was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993.
- It is also an Important Bird Area as it’s a potential breeding site for waterfowl and is a staging site for migratory birds. In recent times human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has constituted a four-member team for conservation and management of Loktak Lake in Manipur.
The team will visit Loktak Lake and hold discussions with the State government, its concerned agencies and other stakeholders including people living in the vicinity of the lake.
Terms of reference of team are
- Review implementation of works undertaken with financial assistance provided by Union and State governments so far for the conservation and management of the lake.
- Suggest further interventions required for conserving the lake in a holistic manner.
- Enumerate steps required to be initiated for declaring Loktak Lake as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Identify actions and steps to be taken for increasing tourism potential of Loktak Lake.
About Loktak Lake
- Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is famous for the phumdis floating over it.
- Phumdis are the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition.
- Keibul Lamjao National Park is also one of Phumdis in the lake. It is only floating national park in world and is last natural refuge of endangered Sangai deer.
- This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower generation.
- Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, Loktak lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990.
- Later it was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993. Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem.