- Nov 19, 2017
A road near the Siang in Pasighat in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
Says it is too early to blame any activity by China for the darkening of the river in Arunachal Pradesh
Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has said that the Union government will wait for the final report of the Central Water Commission on the unusual darkening of the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh before blaming any man-made activity by China.
The Siang enters India from Tibet, where it flows for about 1,500 km as the Tsangpo and becomes the Brahmaputra after it flows into Assam. Reports have blamed tunnel construction by China in Tibet for the unusual darkening of the river and a surge in silt downstream.
Mr. Rijiju told The Hindu that China had clarified that a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Tibet was responsible for the darkening of the river. “The study is being carried out by the CWC and other experts are looking into it. As per the current information, China has reported that darkening was caused by some natural phenomenon like an earthquake. The final report hasn’t come, let us wait for the final study,” he said.
Mr. Rijiju represents Arunachal Pradesh in the Lok Sabha.
On December 19, Ripun Bora of the Congress told the Rajya Sabha that the Assam Chief Minister had twice written to the Prime Minister to take up the matter with China at the bilateral level, but no action had been taken. “There is an abnormal change in the Brahmaputra during the past one month and poisonous, muddy, turbid water is flowing in the river. As a result, a lot of wild animals and aquatic life have died. This has also resulted in loss of livelihood for many people. This catastrophe has jeopardised the Brahmaputra valley civilisation. The main reason for this is China is constructing 1,000-km tunnel, connecting South Tibet and Desert Taklimakan . This is the longest tunnel in the world. And, China has constructed a 200-metre-wide, 13-km-high big dam at Yarlung Tsangpo to divert the Brahmaputra,” Mr. Bora said.
As reported earlier, official reports of the colour of water in the Siang, in Tuting, changing emerged from the Arunachal Pradesh office of the CWC on November 10 and it attributed it to excess silt. What caused the deluge of silt, however, wasn’t specified. But the water at Tuting was still potable, according to the CWC. Earlier, Masood Hussain, Chairman, CWC, had said that the agency’s preliminary reports did not find traces of cement or high alkalinity in the river — or signs of construction.