Manipur : 20-hectares floating island found in Loktak Lake

In the State’s Ningthoukhong area, a huge floating biomass has recently been spotted on the southern side of Loktak Lake.

The island, which measures around 20 hectares and has locally found grass called ‘tou’ as high as 11 feet. The state forest department came to know about it on Sunday morning.

Rebika Soibam, Divisional Forest Officer of Manipur’s Bishnupur district, told, “So far we could not detect any signs of animals or birds in the phumdi (biomass). But we believe that there could be wild pigs…etc. as a phumdi of this size is an ideal place for animal habitat.”

She also said a team of forest officials, along with the Toubul Youth Development Association, the Indian Bird Conservation Network, the Coast Guard Thinungei and members of WildLife Explorer, had paid a visit to the biomass but were unable to spot anything due to its “sheer size and thickness”.

The forest department has now used a drone camera to trace the area. Officials are also keeping a watch so that villagers living nearby do not clear the biomass for it may destroy the habitat of animals possibly living on it.

The biomass, Soibam presumed, had diverted from its normal course into the Loktak Lake due to change in water current after the floodgates of Manipur’s Ithai barrage were opened some time ago. It could move towards the northern side of the lake in January and February, depending on directions of the wind.