Siang river turns black: China’s involvement suspected

Itanagar, November 30: The water of Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh has mysteriously turned black. Congress MP, Ninong Ering, has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard and has sought immediate attention. According reports, the river has become muddy and slushy, black and contaminated. Several varieties of fish are also dying in the Siang.

A caution in this regard was raised by East Siang district authorities.

According to an official, thick cement-like material has made the water unusable for all purposes.

Ering has written that “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”.

“I am sure China is doing something to the river which is a common property of three nations, including India and Bangladesh,” he said.

This comes less than a month after reports that Chinese engineers are testing techniques that could be used to build a 1,000-km long tunnel to divert water from Brahmaputra river in Tibet to Xinjiang region.

The proposed tunnel, which would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls, would provide water in China’s largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.

The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo river in southern Tibet, which turns into the river Brahmaputra once it enters India, to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang, PTI had reported.

ndia has already flagged its concerns to Beijing about various dams being built by it on Brahmaputra river, which is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China.

Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh, which is also a recipient of the waters from the river, that its dams were of the run of river projects and not designed to storing water.

The waters have turned dark in Dibrugarh town as well. Dibrugarh is at a straight line distance of 77 km from Pasighat in East Siang district, where the Siang’s water is darkest. The Central Water Commission (CWC), responsible for monitoring water level and quality of all rivers in the country, has also observed a change of colour as far as Tezpur and Guwahati in downstream areas.

“As of now, we cannot come to any conclusion about the cause for this unusual change. We don’t know what the situation is across the border (in China) as we do not have jurisdiction over the river and its quality there. If necessary, the Indian government has to take help from the Chinese government,” the source said.


By Prerna Chatterjee with Agency inputs