Days after Congress leader from Arunachal Pradesh, Ninong Ering complained that the water of Siang river (as the Brahmaputra is known after it enters India from Tibet), is turning black and others followed suit. Now, the Assam government has sent water samples to Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, and IIT, Guwahati for analysis. The state Fire Service department collected water samples from about fifteen locations in a 700-km stretch of the river between Jonai and Dhubri in last few days and sent to the two institutions to test the water and find reasons for the development, a press release issued by the state chief minister’s office said. “Upon finding the responsible causes, the report would be submitted to the state government for it to take remedial steps,” it added.
In the meantime, Arunachal Pradesh’s State Water Quality Testing Laboratory (SWQTL), submitted a report on Wednesday on water sample collected from the river in Pasighat, which had put its turbidity 482 and iron content at 1.65 mg per litre. It also said that the water of the river is unfit for drinking.The report also pointed out that iron in the water was not deadly to any aquatic animals at normal levels. “Unusually high amounts of iron that exists in the water may lead to adverse changes in colour, odour and taste of water, causing negative effects on aquatic populations, behavior and health,” report said.
Last month, Ering had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that China’s construction of a 1000-km tunnel to divert water of the Brahmaputra affected the water quality of the river. He added that the water of the river had become thick, black, muddy and “cement-like” as it entered the country, while urging the prime minister to take “immediate action” in this matter.
“There is no other reason that the mighty Siang should be dirty and black in the month of November, but has occurred due to heavy excavation on the Chinese side, which has to be verified by an international team,” Ering had said in his letter to the prime minister. The Congress MP also claimed that fish and other aquatic life have disappeared from the river in last few weeks.
Recently, Congress MP from Assam, Gaurav Gogoi also sent a letter to the prime minister to draw attention on the change in the water quality of the river. In his report, the Congress MP also quoted a report of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) to pint out that turbidity of the water had increased unusually, and locals were also complaining of getting “thick whitish muddy water” in last few days.
In his letter, the Congress MP urged the prime minister to instruct the concerned officials to urgently conduct tests on the entire length of the river to check pollution parameters so as to prevent any untoward incident.