What is a Phumdi? Floating Lab to Monitor Manipur’S Loktak Lake (Important) (Download PDF)


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The Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Laboratory (IBSD), Imphal, set up a floating laboratory in northeast India’s largest freshwater lake, Loktak to constantly monitor its water quality and eventually improve it.

Image of largest water lake in India

Image of Largest Water Lake in India

Image of largest water lake in India

  • The laboratory was inaugurated by Manipur’s Forest and Environment Minister in Imphal.

  • It is a joint venture between LDA and ISBD to launch the floating laboratory.

How Will the Lab Help?

  • A study would convert the water plants into organic fertilizer along with studying the quality of life of the lake dwellers- accordingly recommend ways to improve their life.

  • Floating laboratory will boost finding the flora and fauna data and the data would be useful in future.

  • Helpful in conservation and sustainable development of the lake thereby improving the life of the lake dwellers drastically


  • The institute worked for 4 months for procuring the boat for the laboratory, redesigning it, and getting the equipment.

  • The boat is made with the materials collected from the State with sitting capacity of 20 - 30 people.

  • With the boat’s help BSD scientists successfully extracted alcohol from a particular grass found in the lake and are in the process for commercializing.

Loktak Lake

  • 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.

Map of Loktak Lake

Map of Loktak Lake

Map of Loktak Lake

  • The lake is located near Moirang in Manipur state.

  • The largest of all the phumdis covers an area of 40 km2 and is situated on the southeastern shore of the lake.

  • Located on this phumdi, Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world.

  • The park is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai (state animal), Rucervus eldii eldii or Manipur brown-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld’s deer.

  • Ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur.

  • Serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation, and drinking water supply.

  • Lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural anglers who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”.

  • Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem. 55 rural and urban hamlets around the lake have a population of about 100,000 people.


  • The Institute of Bio-resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD) is one of the autonomous institutes under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.

  • The objective of IBSD is to develop and utilize the rich bio-resources of the Northeastern Region of the country through the application of modern tools of biology and biotechnology.

  • This institute is committed to become a premier research institute in the region with state-of-the-art modern research facility and infrastructure.

  • The institute has its Regional Centre in Sikkim.

- Published/Last Modified on: June 19, 2018

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