The Siang river is considered to be a lifeline of northern Arunachal Pradesh for time immemorial. However, panic has set in as the river has started turning black from the last two months.
The Siang is the principal constituent river of the Brahmaputra and flows for 1,600 km through southern Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo before entering India. It joins with two other rivers in Assam to flow as the Brahmaputra.
The East Siang authorities are alarmed by the rising amount of slag in the river making it unfit for consumption.
The Logical Indian got in touch with Mr Tamiyo Tatak, Collector, East Siang. He said, “The condition of the river is terrible, and this is a first-time incident that has happened. Usually, during October, November, December the water of the river is crystal clear, but this time it is full of cement debris. We are anticipating some actions from the Chinese side that has led to the pollution in the river.”
Complaint by an MP
Pasighat-based Ninong Ering, Lok Sabha member representing Arunachal East, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week about the sorry state of the Siang river.
In his letter, he had expressed his fear about an alleged river diversion plan by China that has led to this condition of the river.
Pasighat, the headquarters of East Siang, is 560 km north-east of Guwahati. The town is dominated by Adi tribe, who revere the river as ‘Aane’ or mother.
India fears that China plans to dig a 1000-km tunnel, the world’s longest, to divert the Yarlung Tsangpo river from Tibet to Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang.
Tests were carried out by Arunachal Pradesh’s public health engineering department on 27 November. The tests confirmed the fact that the water samples used from the river have turbidity count of 425 against the permissible limit of 0-5.
More samples are being sent, and the officials have expressed anxiety about the marine life in this highly turbid water.
The anti-dam activists such as Forum for Siang Dialogue (FSD), Siang People’s Forum and Adi Students’ Union are not irked by the recent findings. On the contrary, they are happy that there would not be enough water to create dams and hence their agricultural lands would be saved. They added that drinking water and irrigation water comes from small rivers and not from Siang.
The Logical Indian urges the concerned authorities to look into the matter and take immediate steps to cleanse the lifeline of northern Arunachal Pradesh.