Itanagar: People in Arunachal Pradesh's East Kameng district are concerned that the water of the Kameng river suddenly turned black in the last 3-4 days, triggering panic amongst the riverine population. Officials said that thousands of dead fish were floating on the black water of the beautiful hill river.
The river's water turned black due to the high content of total dissolved substances (TDS), a district fisheries official said. Thousands of fish were found dead in the river from Friday onwards at Seppa, the district headquarters, District Fisheries Development Officer (DFDO) Hali Tajo said.
According to preliminary findings, the cause of the deaths is the large presence of TDS, which creates low visibility and breathing issues for aquatic species in the water, Tajo added.
According to environmentalist Dr. Bhupen Mili, After Siang, now the Kameng River in Arunachal Pradesh had turned muddy all of a sudden. Tonnes of dead fish floating. Advisory order issued by the Government for non-consumption of dead fish. District administration officials examine the sudden rise of TDS in the Kameng water. They found TDS amounting to 6,800 mg per litre, much higher than the normal range of 300-1,200 mg per litre.
The East Kameng district administration issued an advisory, asking people to avoid venturing near the Kameng river to catch fish and not consume and sell the dead fish until further order. Local residents of Seppa blamed China for the rise in the TDS in the river, alleging that the colour of the water turned black due to huge construction activities in the upper streams of the river by the neighbouring country.
Seppa East MLA Tapuk Taku appealed to the state government to immediately constitute a committee of experts to ascertain the cause behind the abrupt change in the colour of the Kameng river's water and the death of a large quantity of fish. He said this incident had never happened in the Kameng river before.
In Seppa, a bordering area to China, local people believe China dumped huge construction waste in the upper stream of the Siang and Kameng rivers. So the harmful chemical levels rose in the river water, and the watercolour of the river became black, and led to the death of thousands of fish.
The Siang river at Pasighat in East Siang district also turned black in November 2017, and there too, thousands of aquatic lives were killed.