By Tenzin Monlam
DHARAMSHALA, December 4: The Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu has expressed his concern over Siang’s (Brahmaputra) unusable and inhabitable condition and the high content of Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) in the river.
Taking up this issue with the central government the CM tweeted, “Inspected the Siang river today near Yingkiong, whose water has turned muddy and black - making it unfit for drinking and aquatic life. Have asked the local administration to furnish detailed report on the situation.”
In order to bring more attention over the matter, he had tagged the PMO, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, BJP's national Twitter handle and the environment ministry.
The change in the river can be noticed soon after the river enters India from Geling in northern Upper Siang district. According to Central Water Commission (CWC) the ‘slag in the river comes from Chinese territory’.
CM Khandu also said that they are taking up the issue of ‘sudden change in water quality’, which is not normal post-monsoon season and which is also affecting the aquatic lives and livestock as well.
At the Daying Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary, a group of island in between the Siang and the Sibia, a haven for migratory birds, the contamination of the river has led to the fall in their number.
“You can say that the number of migratory birds at the sanctuary is nil. I had myself counted about 35 to 40 of these birds some time ago and now there are none," R Riba, Divisional Forest Officer said.
However, China refutes the allegation made by India. An editorial inThe Global Times,
, mouthpiece of communist party, said that India should not point its finger at China on hydrological issues to ‘incite anti-China sentiment’.
“South Tibet is the territory of China, which has the duty to preserve local environment,” Global Times
quoted a Chinese researcher, Hu Zhiyong.
The river enters into India after flowing for 1600 km through Tibet as Yarlung Tsangpo or Tsangpo. Brahmaputra is called Siang River in the state of Arunachal Pradesh.