Reports about blockage in the Yarlung Tsangpo river in upper reaches of China triggered by "massive erosion" has created panic in Arunachal Pradesh as it has resulted drying waters in the Siang river since Wednesday.
Yarlong Tsangpo is called the Siang when it enters Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet region and is known as the Brahmaputra as it flows further in downstream into Assam.
Alarmed by the report from the Central Water Commission, East Siang district administration in Arunachal has issued an advisory asking people not to venture into the Siang for fishing, bathing or any other purpose as removal of the blockage could result in the sudden rise in water level in the Siang and flash floods in the areas. The advisory said water level in the Siang had reduced by 1.30-meter near Pasighat, the district headquarters on Wednesday.
Congress MP from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering on Thursday sought External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's intervention into the matter.
"As per the latest information received from the Ministry of Water Resources of China, landslides have blocked the Milin section of the mainstream of the Brahmaputra river/Yarlung Zangbo river (about 80 km downstream from the Yarlung Zangbo River to the Nuxia Hydrological Station for flood reporting in India) from Tuesday (October 16 to October 17), which will have an impact on the water situation of the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river in Arunachal," Ering said in his letter to Swaraj and Arun Ram Meghawal, Union minister of state for water resources.
"Even the situation of rivers along Tuting, Yingkiong and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh is grim. Rivers in these places are drying up rapidly due to the blockade of Yarlung Zangbo in China. It will pose big threat to the downstream dwellers and will ruin their lives forever," said the letter while requesting their intervention to "protect the land, water, forest and precious lives of Arunachal Pradesh."
India and China recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which China shares flood data about the Yarlung Tsangpo with India.
"The Chinese side is paying close attention to the blockage of the Yarlung Zangbo River. If there is further information, they must notify us in time and the government must proactively engage with them on this issue," the letter said.
Siang and the Brahmaputra reported turbidity earlier this year reportedly due to earthquake in the Yarlung Tsangpo in China, triggering panic among residents in downstream areas.