CM Khandu takes stock of Siang river situation

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Itanagar/Guwahati, December 3: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday took stock of the condition of water in the Siang River, which has turned muddy post-monsoon season.

Local authorities informed the Chief Minister that the quality of the water in the river hasn’t improved, saying normally the water is clear during this season and turns muddy only during the monsoon season. They also said that the water level has decreased.

“The matter was of high concern and I have asked the local authority to submit a detailed report on the situation,” Khandu said after assessing the ground situation, adding a report on ground realities will be submitted to the Central government soon.

The state’s Public Health Engineering Department conducted a test on the water and found a turbidity count of 425 which is way too high against the permissible range of 0-5.

Earlier MP from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering had written a letter to PM Modi raising concern about the sudden change in water quality of the Siang River. In the letter, he had mentioned about a report which was denied by the Chinese government in regard to the diverting a channel of Tsangpo (Siang/Brahmaputra) in Tibet.

The MP claimed that just after two months of the report, the River Siang had suddenly become muddy and slushy, which was an unusual phenomenon and the reason for the river getting so dirty suddenly was not known especially in this season, the letter stated.

The letter further alleges that China’s 1000 km tunnel might have played a role in this contamination of the river water. Earlier reports had emerged that China’s planning a 1,000km tunnel to divert water away from one of India’s largest rivers, the Brahmaputra which is also known as Siang in Arunachal Pradesh.

The plan involved diverting water from Sangri county in Tibet to the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang. However, later Chinese government officials had called it a ‘false report’.

Edited by: Arnab Jyoti Das