IMPHAL: Forest, Environment and Climate Change Minister Awangbow Newmai on Thursday flagged off a one day media campaign ‘Save Nambul River’ at Thong Nambonbi, Imphal West organised by the All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) in collaboration with the Directorate of Environment and Climate Change.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Awangbow Newmai said the historically relevant Nambul river has been immensely polluted in the last 40-50 years. He reminded that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on March last year had launched the ‘Rejuvenation and Conservation of Nambul River’ project under the National River Conservation Plan of the Ministry. Opining that the project will succeed with the support from the general public, he appealed for cooperation from public in all the projects initiated by the Government.
Stating that he was surprised to learn that the participants of the ‘Save Nambul River’ media campaign will visit upto Loktak using boats, he said it is indeed a great initiative taken up for mass awareness for rejuvenation and conservation effort of the Nambul river. He expressed his happiness on learning upon from his department officers that the local clubs and people residing near the river bank have been cooperating with the Government officials in the initiatives undertaken for the environmental conservation.
He stressed on the need for preservation and conservation of nature’s gift and appreciated the role of media for spreading wide awareness among the masses regarding environmental conservation in the State. Stating that it is the responsibility of all to safeguard our environment, he said that joint awareness campaign among various stakeholders will help in building a social relationship and also bring economic and political development in the State.
Speaking regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, he appreciated and lauded the people of the State and all the stakeholders for cooperating and helping the returnee citizens of Manipur from outside the state at various quarantine centres. Stating that around 50,000 out of the 80,000 registered stranded persons from the State have returned back, he appealed for continuous support from public to avoid unwanted incidents and work towards containing the COVID 19 pandemic including the threat of community spread.
Stating that the Government under the leadership of CM N. Biren Singh have successfully overcame various challenges in the past, he appealed for full support from the public so that Government can continue developmental work for better future of the State.
M. Joy, Commissioner, Information and Public Relations (IPR) opined that saving environment needs cooperation from all sections of the society. He said the success of ‘Save Nambul River’ media campaign will definitely open a way for reviving the Nambul river and restore the waterway which was once used for the purpose of trade and commerce in the State.
Dr T. Brajakumar, Deputy Director, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change said during 1960’s the Nambul river was a big waterway used for commercial activities, however in last 10-20 years the quality of the river degraded. The Directorate along with other stakeholders have been carrying out conservation efforts to restore to its former glory.
Regarding the origin of the Nambul river, he informed that three streams flowing from Kangchup Hills with distance of 47 km, 27 km and 18 km respectively joins at Iroishemba to form the Nambul river. Informing that the river flowing from Iroishemba to Heirangoithong at a stretch of 9.14 km is the most polluted zone, he said the river from Heirangoithong flows to drain into Loktak Lake at Yangoi Karong which is around 26 km.
Stating that the rejuvenation of the river is a big challenge, he said the media campaign is a trial method and the success of the campaign will give a great boost to their mission.
It may be mentioned that the Rejuvenation and Conservation of Nambul River is a project under the National River Conservation Plan of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change with project cost of Rs 97.72 crore to be completed in three years in phase wise manner. Directorate of Environment and Climate Change will implement the project with line departments Water Resources, Public Health Engineering, MAHUD (IMC) and Manipur State Pollution Control Board.
Dr Y Nabachandra, Director, Directorate of Environment and Climate Change, Khogendra Khomdram, President Editors Guild Manipur, Bijoy Kakchingtabam, President, AMWJU among others attended the flag-off ceremony.