Arunachal MP worried over 'drying' Siang

Arunachal MP worried over 'drying' Siang

West Siang district administration in Arunachal Pradesh issues advisory asking residents not to venture into Siang river

Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh

Congress MP from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering on Thursday sought external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj's intervention complaining that blocking of the Yarlung Tsangpo river in China due to erosion has resulted drying waters in the Siang river in downstream areas in the Northeastern state.

Yarlong Tsangpo is called Siang when it enters Arunachal Pradesh from Tibet region and is known as the Brahmaputra as it flows further downstream into Assam.

"As per the latest information received from the Ministry of Water Resources of China, landslides have blocked the Milin section of the main stream 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 a 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."

West Siang district administration in Arunachal Pradesh has issued an advisory asking residents not to venture into Siang river for fishing, bathing or any other purpose as removal of the blockade in Yarlung Tsangpo could result in a sudden rise in water in the Siang or flash floods in the downstream areas.

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 the earthquake in Yarlung Tsangpo in China, triggering panic among residents in downstream areas.