PASIGHAT, Feb 23: The turbidity of the water of the Siang river flowing downstream to Brahmaputra in Assam has lessened considerably since Sunday morning.
An official of the Central Water Commission (CWC) here in East Siang district said the river’s water was turbid with muddy silt until Friday but has been becoming clear since Sunday morning.
“There might have been a heavy landslide upstream which had caused the turbidity in the river’s water,” the official said.
He, however, did not rule out the “probability of recurrence of water contamination of Siang river” in the coming days.
“We received a report from Upper Siang district on Friday that the water of the Siang river had become muddy with silt and cement-like particles. But the water of the Siang river seems clear this morning. We have been directed to keep a sharp vigil on the condition of the Siang’s water for immediate report,” said the official.
It may be recalled that the river’s water had become muddy with mineral particles last year and brought about an ecological catastrophe in the Siang valley, besides taking a toll on domestic cattle in the riverine areas. The contaminated water of the Siang, a major tributary of the Brahmaputra, had an adverse effect on the aquatic ecosystem in several districts.
Pasighat West MLA Ninong Ering noticed the change in the colour of the Siang on Friday. He immediately reported the matter to CWC officials and asked them to have a look at the situation.
During his tenure as MP from eastern Arunachal, Ering had raised the issue in Parliament also. He had expressed apprehension that China had a role behind the Siang’s turbidity, and had appealed to the Centre to take up the issue with the neighbouring country.
Geologists suspect that heavy excavation at Tsangpo, in the Tibet region of China, causes turbidity in the Siang’s water from time to time.