Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it. The Manipur’s Forest and Environment Minister, Thounaojam Shyamkumar Singh inaugurated India’s first floating laboratory in Imphal on Feb 24 which will help to conserve the biome of the lake.
10 Amazing facts about India’s first floating laboratory
1. The Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Laboratory (IBSD), Imphal has established India's first floating laboratory at Loktak Lake to monitor the ecosystem of the lake as well as the water quality.
2. It is a joint venture of Loktak Development Authority (LDA) and Bioresources and Sustainable Laboratory Institute (IBSD); and about 15 lakhs spent in setting up this floating laboratory.
3. The Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable laboratory (IBSD) took 4 months to set up this floating laboratory.
4. This floating laboratory will check the oxygen and the pH level of the lake and also will record changes in temperature, acidity, conductivity and dissolved oxygen in the 300 sq. km of the lake. So that the Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Laboratory (IBSD) can take immediate steps to check water pollution and restore it.
5. This floating laboratory is equipped with all modern equipment such as water quality Analyzer, which will automatically check temperature, temperature, acidity, salinity and electrical conductivity standards.
6. This floating laboratory will have a five-member female researcher who will collect the samples of microorganisms, which may carry potential for use in harmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and other industries.
7. This floating laboratory model is given by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) of the Central Government to protect the unique ecosystem of the Loktak Lake.
8. The length of the boat is 15 metre and can accommodate 10 people.
9. The lake is shrinking at a speed of 40 sq. km. Therefore, it is a well needed laboratory which will study the nutrients of vegetation and monitor their health so that the hundreds of massive circular rings of floating vegetation called "phumdis" or floating islands can be taken care of.
10. This floating laboratory will also set up scientific research and social responsibility, because for a few years this has become a dumping yard of lake pollutants which is affecting the ecosystem of the lake.