Turbid water of Siang takes toll on wild animals, aquatic life

RUKSIN, Dec 7: The polluted Siang River has taken a toll on animals in the Daying Ering Wildlife Sanctuary in the past few days, as several wild buffalos have reportedly died after consuming the river’s water.
Apart from turbidity, the water level of the Siang is receding and livestock on its sandbars have been badly affected.
The river water has turned brownish-black in colour in the past two weeks, and is also having an impact on the winter migratory birds.
Forest officials have said that the wild animals are dying due to consumption of the contaminated Siang water, while the winged winter guests are becoming a rarity here.
Laboratory test results of samples of the Siang, and the Brahmaputra’s water in downstream Assam, have also confirmed that high turbidity has killed fishes and other aquatic life, besides rendering its water unfit for human consumption.
On Saturday, Chief Minister, Pema Khandu had inspected the dark muddy waters of the Siang at Yingkiong (Upper Siang) and Pasighat (East Siang) and described the situation as serious.
Pema had also directed the local administration to furnish detailed and updated report on the situation.
The turbid water of Siang River, linking Brahmaputra in Assam, reportedly reached Majuli, where it is killing livestock and aquatic life in Dhemaji and Majuli districts, and causing worry to the riverine villagers.
The deputy commissioners of Dhemaji and Majuli have reported the situation to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The contamination of the Siang and the Brahmaputra rivers, the lifeline of Siang and Brahmaputra valley civilization, is posing a threat to the socio-economic and cultural life of the people.
“The government should take up the issue at the international level, as the change is because of activities carried out upstream,” said leaders of several organizations of Assam.