By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Dec 6: Taking up a PIL in connection with the rapidly deteriorating conditions of the Loktak lake, the High Court of Manipur has directed the Government Departments concerned to submit a common affidavit regarding the issue at the earliest.
According to a reliable source, the Court, in its own motion, took up the PIL (No 24 of 2017) taking the worsening condition of the Loktak lake into consideration.
The source informed that the PIL was first brought up before the Division Bench of the High Court, comprising of Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Lanusungkum Jamir, on November 19 and when the matter was taken up, the amicus curiae Advocate Kh Samarjit and Advocate Julius Riamei submitted a very detailed report regarding the present condition of the Loktak lake.
The report also made special mention of the threats to the lake like land encroachment, construction of buildings without statutory clearances, encroachment in the wetlands by the locals, pollution of the lake with urban wastes, domestic sewage with plastic sewage being the biggest menace, unscientific method of fishing and farming, non eco-friendly tourism activities etc, the source added explaining that PIL was put up so that the Court might pass or issue appropriate orders or directions to conserve, protect and preserve the Loktak wetlands. After going through the PIL, the Court called upon the State Government to study the report and take up appropriate remedial action as well as to adopt practices which enhance the quality of the lake and other wetland areas identified in the report.
The Court further directed the State Government to identify and depute experts in the field of pollution, agriculture development, eco-friendly tourism so as to address the issues raised in the report in consultation with the State Wetland Authorities, the source said adding that the Court also directed the Government to deal with the issue of encroachment on a war footing so as to ensure that the encroached wetland is reclaimed and the natural habitat is restored.
The Court also directed the State Government to provide a copy of the report to each of the Departments concerned and for the said Departments to go through the report and submit a common affidavit (to be filed by the AG) on the next date of hearing of the PIL, the source added.
By Our Staff Reporter