BISHNUPUR, March 13(NNN): Hundreds of fishermen residing in the surrounding area of Loktak Lake in Manipur`s Bishnupur district today staged a protest dharna airing thier voice against the burning down of their floating huts and their forced eviction by the Loktak Development Authority (LDA).
The demonstration jointly organized by All Loktak Lake Fishermen Union (ALLFU), Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur (CPNRM), Concern for Dam and Development (CCDO) and Life Water.
They chanted slogans like “Loktak Project Act should be Cancelled” and `Ithai Dam be Removed.”
Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the protest, ALLFU secretary Rajen alleged that the steps being taken up by both the Manipur Government and LDA are not meant for the welfare of the area and its people.
He described the policy as a serious violation of rights of the poor fishermen who have been depending on the lake, the largest freshwater lake in North East India, since the time of their forefathers.
Waste materials and phumdis (floating biomass) in the lake are not the byproduct of fishing activities in the water of the lake, he maintained, pointing out that their origins are the Imphal River and the Nambul River.
He also said the fishermen in the area will not accept the Government’s plan to provide them with alternative occupation because their main occupation is fishing.