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Watch: Locals enraged as Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh turns black

It is thought construction in Tibet (China) is to blame. Photograph: (WION Web Team)

WION Web Team Arunachal Pradesh, India Nov 30, 2017, 09.29 AM (IST)

Arunachal Pradesh was recently in the headlines when Siang river in Pasighat was reported to have turned black.

WION has gathered that Ninong Ering, Congress MP from the east Constituency has already written to PM Modi seeking his intervention on the issue.

Ering believes the change in water quality is a result of the construction of a 10,000-kilometer tunnel in China which is diverting water from Siang to Xinjiang province of the Taklamakan desert. However, China has denied all the claims.

'The reason for the river getting dirty is unknown. I have already put questions for discussions in Parliament under rule 377. But since it is not in session, I am requesting you to use your good office to seek the reason of the river being muddy in this season when the water is crystal clear,' Ering's letter read.

Ering has also put a request with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Water Resources ministry. 

'Our Siang river is all muddy since two months. It is extremely unusual and dangerous for the river to have turned black. We want serious action to be taken on the issue and an enquiry on the same," Ering told WION.

In the meanwhile, the situation has created an uproar in the local community. People have taken to the streets to demand a speedy resolution to the matter. 

'It was never muddy like this. Fish are dying, no fishermen are coming here as if there is some kind of poisoning going on. I will request the government of India not to ignore this anymore. We have heard that there is some diversion happening. Siang river has reduced in density, the impact is being seen from the beginning of this month. There are no birds around, you cannot eat the fish from the river,' Yalem Taga Burang, President, Adi Baane Kebang Women Wing, East Siang District, Arunachal Pradesh told WION. 

Siang originally starts its course from Tibet -- where it is called the Yarlung Tsangpo -- and travels down to Arunachal Pradesh from where it flows to Assam and comes to be known as the Brahmaputra. It is now reported that the water downstream of the river Brahmaputra in Assam has also changed to black.

Siang's water has turned black with massive amounts of mud and cement. A government source shared that the change of colour to black is due to slag.

Reportedly, the government has been monitoring the situation since November 18 and is likely to involve departments like the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for further investigations. 

In a recent media interaction today, Ering shared that Siang's water is turning clayey. 'This is a season of migratory birds and none can be seen here. No fishermen in sight,' noted Ering. He went on to explains the geography of the region to bring to notice how Siang's present condition is affecting the environment of the region.

(With inputs from PTI) 

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