Pumlenpat is the second largest lake in Manipur after the famous Loktak Lake? Yes, it’s true! But sadly, just like its bigger brother, Pumlenpat is also facing extinction due to human encroachment.
The people living around the lake depend on fishing for their livelihood, and the lake is an important source of income for them. However, the lake is now on the verge of extinction due to human settlements and encroachments around it. The floating plankton, locally called phumdi, is an important source of fishery products, but with human interference, the lake’s ecosystem is getting disturbed, and the fish population is dwindling.
The lake has a rich history and has been an important part of the lives of the nearby towns. There are plenty of small islands on this lake, and people have started settling on them. But sadly, this has only added to the lake’s woes, and now it’s struggling to survive.
The Ithai barrage or dam, one of the important dams related to the Loktak Lift Irrigation, is situated at the southwest corner of this lake. This has obstructed the weeds of the lake from flowing down, and 80% of the lake is now covered under thick weeds, leaving almost no space for the fishermen to earn their livings.
A number of birds visiting the lake has reduced significantly, and the lake now lies in an eerie silence. To make matters worse, the surrounding people, unable to catch much fish, have now resorted to catching birds in a bid to earn some money. This has resulted in the decreasing migration of birds, making the situation even more critical.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Manipur, don’t forget to visit Pumlenpat Lake. But please, be respectful of the lake and its surroundings. Let’s help save this beautiful lake from going extinct!