Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, assured that the Centre will provide full assistance for the promotion and development of Manipur’s Loktak Lake, aiming to make it one of the world’s most beautiful lakes.
What Sarbananda Sonowal said
On Saturday, Sarbananda Sonowal remarked this during a visit to Loktak Lake in the Bishnupur district.
The minister said, “We all have an important role to play in the development and promotion of Loktak Lake as one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. The lake is one of the largest lakes in Asia with its greenery and marine lives surrounded by beautiful mountain.”
He further said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has consistently emphasised the Northeast’s rapid growth. Sonowal claimed that he (PM) is the first prime minister in the country’s 75-year past to devote his “heart and soul” to the promotion and development of the Northeast.
He further claimed that his visit to the state is in response to the Prime Minister’s direction to provide full support to the Manipur government in the areas of inland waterways development and Ayush.
The minister also praised the Chairman of the Loktak Development Authority (LDA) for his efforts in transforming the water body into a national and international tourism attraction.
Loktak Lake is located in Moirang, which is roughly 48 kilometres from Imphal. It is the Northeast’s largest freshwater lake.
The Union Shipping Ministry sanctioned Rs 25.58 crore for the Loktak Inland Waterways Improvement Project (LIWIP) in November 2019, a long-awaited request from the Manipur government. The project’s goal is to improve the lake’s tourism and connectivity. However, fishing communities in and near the Loktak have been vocal in their opposition to the proposal, claiming that it will harm biodiversity. At least 4000 fishermen live in and around the lake, according to the Loktak Lake Area Fishermen’s Union Manipur.