Manipur forest and environment minister Thounaoujam Shyamkumar on Saturday launched a floating research laboratory of Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) at Loktak Lake, Sendra.
The finding and data collected by mobile laboratory of IBSD, a National Institute of Department of Biotechnology having its headquarters at Takyelpat near Imphal will be used for monitoring the eco-system of the Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in NE India.
Speaking to media on the sideline of the launching function, minister Shyamkumar said the floating research laboratory will help in checking the water quality of the Loktak Lake. He said Loktak Lake has been polluted by various reasons. Scientists can do their research including making organic compost from phumdis, a biomass in the lake besides working on some cases including the attempt to extract alcohol from a special variety of weed in the lake, he added.
Responding to question, Shyamkumar who holds horticulture portfolio said the State Government’s role will be supporting and collaborating with the Central Government to save the environment and eco-system in and around Loktak Lake. He said the findings of the research will be used by the departments under him to take up necessary steps. IBSD will hand over the collected data to the Loktak Development Authority (LDA), as part of the mission to save the lake. The collected data will guide the scientists of IBSD in research, he added.
Director Prof Dinabandhu Sahoo of IBSD informed that it took four months to develop the boat which was equipped with floating laboratory facility. It was developed with the materials collected from the State with sitting capacity of 20 people. A team of scientists from IBSD will conduct the research work to collect water and bio-resource samples across 15 sites across the lake and their findings will be shared to the concerned authorities including LDA for necessary actions.
“Loktak is under threat from pollution and other anthropogenic pressure. But to device necessary strategy to maintain its health we need certain data,” Prof Sahoo said. “So the idea behind the floating laboratory is initiate a data resource for other policy decisions.”
He informed IBSD scientists have also been coordinating with the Indian Institute of Petroleum for their attempt to extract alcohol from a particular grass and weed found in the lake.
Local MLA T Robindro of Thanga, Vice Chairman M Ashinikumar of MIDA, Project Director Longjam Bhagaton of LDA, Vice Chancellor Talat Ahmad of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and students and staffs of IBSD attended the programme at the picturesque Sendra, 45 km south of Imphal.