Manipur's Loktak Lake | Photo: Yimkumla Longkumer | ThePrint
The Loktak Lake in Manipur | Photo: Yimkumla Longkumer | ThePrint
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New Delhi: A huge floating biomass has recently been spotted on the southern side of Manipur’s Loktak Lake, in the state’s Ningthoukhong area.

The sudden sighting of this island, which measures around 20 hectares and has ‘tou’ (locally found grass) as high as 11 feet, has baffled forest officials. The state forest department first learnt of it Sunday morning, it is learnt.

Rebika Soibam, Divisional Forest Officer of Manipur’s Bishnupur district, told the Imphal Free Press, “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.

In Agartala slum, Hindus & Muslims celebrating Durga Puja for 19 yrs

Setting an example of communal harmony, Hindu and Muslim residents of a slum in Tripura’s Agartala city have been coming together each year to celebrate Durga Puja.

This tradition has been going on for the past 19 years at Mollapara, one of the 59 registered slums in and around Agartala municipal council areas.

The Durga Puja committee of the slum consists of 31 members — 18 Muslims and 13 Hindus — and is currently headed by a Muslim man named Ruhiz Miah.

The committee did not take money from people outside the slum this year and managed to raise Rs 55,000 among themselves. They, however, received donations from outside. In all, a total of Rs 80,000 was arranged for this year’s festivities.

Assam healthcare worker carries Covid patient for 0.5 km to reach ambulance

In Assam’s Lakhimpur district, a healthcare worker had to carry a Covid-19 patient on his back for half a km to an ambulance, after the vehicle failed to reach the patient’s home because of bad roads.

The patient’s house is located in Ghulamara area near Dhakuakhana of Lakhimpur.

The healthcare worker has been identified as Gopal Saikia who works for the 108 ambulance service. A video of the incident, which took place Saturday, has since gone viral. The clip shows Saikia in a PPE suit carrying the patient on his back to reach the ambulance.

Assam has so far reported over 2,04,386 Covid-19 cases and 914 deaths.

Arunachal civil service officers pool in money to renovate old library

Officers of the 2016 Arunachal Pradesh Civil Service (APCS) batch got together recently to renovate an old library. They pooled in money to transform a dilapidated building at Khimiyang circle in the state’s Changlang district.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu took to Twitter to praise the efforts of the officers.

Devansh Yadav, District Commissioner of Changlang, also lauded the effort.

These officers are part of what is known as Project 37, a crowdfunding initiative by 37 officers of the 2016 APCS batch. They have come together to repair and rebuild old buildings and convert them into libraries as well as schools across the state. They also plan to repair roads, signposts and build playgrounds and toilets.

Also read: Arunachal boy hands over pet bear he raised like his ‘own sister’ to Itanagar zoo


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