NEW DELHI: Assuring the people a detailed probe into the Brahmaputra river allegedly turning “muddy and black”, MoS Home Kiren Rijiju said on Friday that he would make a comment “only after getting accurate information”.
He said that the government is “continuously assessing” the flowing pattern of Brahmaputra, also known as the Siang river, “from day one”.
“The concerns of the people are genuine. The cause of water becoming muddy and black beyond the McMahon line is being ascertained,” Rijiju said.
People have criticised the Centre for its lackadaisical attitude on the matter.
“Brahmaputra is a sacred river for us. We will make a statement only after getting accurate information of the cause from across the border,” he tweeted.
Rijiju hails from the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh where the river first enters the country before flowing through the floodplains of Assam and finally discharging into the Bay of Bengal.
A preliminary study has recently found that the water of the river, which originates in Tibet, is turning black due to a recent quake in the region.
Refering to the study, Union water resources minister Arjun Ram Meghwal said, “the Central Water Commission has started looking into the matter recently and people have been sent to the internal areas.”
Meghwal said that the path of the river was temporarily obstructed after an earthquake in Tibet on November 17.
"There is a strong possibility that the colour (of the river's water) has changed due to natural reasons," the minister added.
Congress MP Ninong Ering, representing the Arunachal East constituency in Parliament, had recently written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard, noting that the water of the river changing its colour was an unusual phenomenon in the winter months.
In his letter, Ering had also pointed out that there were reports of China constructing a 600-km tunnel in its Yunnan province to divert the Siang water to the Taklamakan desert through the Xinjiang province, even though the neighbouriong country had denied any such development.