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Rural tourism must be encouraged: Shyamkumar

 IMPHAL | Apr 10 (DIPR)

Source: Imphal Free Press

Forests and Environment minister Thounaojam Shyamkumar today inspected the periphery of the Loktak Lake, the largest fresh water lake in the Northeast India, in Bishnupur district.

He was accompanied by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, PN Prasad, Loktak Development Authority (LDA) project director, L Bhagaton Singh along with other officials.

A release said Shyamkumar along with the Oinam MLA, L Radhakishwor Singh, officials of LDA and Forest department visited Toubul village and interacted with the locals. From Toubul, he along with the team headed towards Keibul Lamjao national park.

Speaking to media at the Sendra park and resort, Shyamkumar said, he will take up the matter of development work along the periphery of Loktak Lake with the Chief Minister N Biren Singh, at the same time the local MLA along with subject experts will also be consulted for the development work of the area, it said.

Expressing grave concern over illegal encroachment, Shyamkumar said, illegal encroachers pose a big threat to the Loktak Lake and Keibul Lamjao national park, and issue of encroachment can be tackled only by creating income generating jobs for the locals, it added.

Further he continued rural tourism is an excellent way to create income generating jobs for the locals under which, a tourist can enjoy the experience of daily lifestyle of the locals by staying in indigenously built huts along the Loktak Lake periphery, fishing at the lake and eating delicious local cuisines, it said.

The release continued, speaking on the issue of pollution of the Loktak Lake, Shyamkumar said, cleaning only the surroundings of the Loktak Lake will not solve the problem of pollution. The Nambul River carrying waste products, including hazardous materials made of plastic, drains into the lake, contaminating it, and there is an urgent need to look into all the water sources which is polluting the lake.

Later, the minister along with the team took a boat ride at Loktak Lake and also inspected the cleaning work of water hyacinth at the Loktak project canal in Ningthoukhong.