Landslide turned Kameng river water turbid: GoAP

ITANAGAR, Nov 01: After three days of Kameng River water turning turbid, Arunachal Pradesh Govt on Monday reacted saying prima facie it appears to be a case of mud flow resulting from a landslide in upper reaches of the river based on preliminary analysis and physical inspection.

East Kameng district administration (DA) had received information on Oct 29  that the water had turned dark grey,  muddy and dead fish were found floating. Water samples were immediately collected, and preliminary analysis done by DFDO which found total dissolved substance (TDSW) levels were high (6800 mg/L) while dissolved oxygen (DO) level very low (2mg/L) prima facie indicating heavy turbidity/mud flow in the river.

Thus, physical inspection was conducted at various points along Seppa-Chayangtajo road and found that water in all tributaries, like Para, Pakke, Pachuk, Pachi and Pacha was clear while thick deposits of clay and tree debris were found on the river bank in Marjingla.

Chayangtajo and Bameng ADCs at the directive of the DC had deployed staff to find out about landslides, if any, in Sawa and Khenewa circles on upper catchment areas of the river. Based on the report, the DC had reported chief secretary on Oct 30 explaining the situation and seeking technical assistance from State Remote Sensing Agency (SRSA).

Meanwhile, the CS has urged Shillong-based North East Space Application Centre (NESAC), Centre Water Commission and ISRO to assess the cause and sources of turbidity.

Moreover, some independent researchers/professors have approached the DA to offer technical inputs in understanding the root cause of the problem. Accordingly, Chintan Seth, based on satellite imagery, has informed: “debris flow is visible along Warriyang Bung River, a tributary of Kameng upstream Marjingla, Khenewa circlet. The flood eroded valley is visible.

In the upstream of Warriyang Bung River, there are many glaciers, and it has been observed that the glaciers have moved. However, it remains to be seen whether these glacier movements are normal or abnormal. Though all out efforts have been made to find out the cause of the disturbance in the river, but nothing concrete is known as yet due to heavy cloud in the area.

The water level now has neither increased nor decreased but the mud flow has not abated even after 72 hours. Thus, the DA has issued order u/s 144 CrPC prohibiting any person from venturing into the river and fishing, selling or consumption of this river fish for two weeks.

Meanwhile, fish samples were sent for testing and no cases of diarhoea or food poisoning has been reported. But, the health officials have been alerted to remain vigilant.

The river situation is being monitored closely while the NDRF and SDRF have also been alerted for any emergency, disaster management secretary Dani Salu said in a release.


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