ITANAGAR, Nov 29: Environment & Forests Minister Mama Natung visited Ganga Lake (Gyekar Sinyi) on Sunday with a view to develop the lake in a sustainable way by promoting ecotourism in a manner consistent with the conservation goals of the area.
The minister made his maiden visit after the forest department officially took over Ganga Lake from the tourism department on 24 November.
Natung informed media persons that the lake is being managed and maintained by the Ganga Lake Development Committee, under the tourism department.
Assessing the badly maintained lake, Natung suggested to the department to “form a society comprising members of nearby villages having customary rights over the forest, and forest department officials.” He said that a self-sustaining revenue generation mechanism should be evolved, and informed that “immediate restoration work of the basic ecotourism infrastructures, including beautification around the lake, will be taken up on priority.”
The minister asked the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) to convene a meeting with officers of other departments also to invite suggestions “for improved protection of this important water body.”
Natung also informed that staff would be permanently stationed in the lake’s premises for effective and strict maintenance of the lake.
The minister was accompanied by PCCF RK Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden G Kumar, Deputy Chief Wildlife Warden Tana Tapi, Tourism Information Officer Dalin Tana and senior officers of the environment & forests department.
Earlier in the morning, Natung launched eco-friendly biodegradable bags – an initiative of online distributor/shop Dukan Dada – at the state guest house in Itanagar.
The launching of the eco-friendly and biodegradable bags was supported by the Federation of Arunachal Riders, Green Arunachal and Save Arunachal.
Natung commended the initiative of Dukan Dada and the Arunachal Riders for promoting eco-friendly bags. “Someone has to initiate good things in the society. I congratulate Dukan Dada team and Arunachal Riders for promoting biodegradable bags,” he said.
Emphasizing on the environmental impact of plastic bags, the minister informed that the state government is soon going to formulate a policy to ban plastic bags and encourage the use of biodegradable bags.