GUWAHATI, Dec 3 - In a development fraught with disturbing implications for Assam, abnormal deviations have been noticed in the colour and quality of the water of the Brahmaputra � the State�s lifeline � for the past couple of days.
The development, coming close on the heels of reports of the Siang (the biggest of the Brahmaputra river system which is called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet) water turning muddy in Arunachal Pradesh for over a week now, has sent the alarm bells ringing in the downstream State of Assam. Turbidity apart, the water level in the Siang was also said to be receding abnormally.
Confirming the development, sources in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) told The Assam Tribune that the water of the Brahmaputra which is treated and supplied to citizens was found to be �abnormally turbid�.
�This is quite unusual at this time of the year. We resorted to a more intensified treatment process but even that did not have any cleansing effect on the muddy water,� a GMC official said.
He added that samples of the water would be sent for proper analysis. �We will be able to draw a definite conclusion only after scientific tests,� he said.
Many residents in Chandmari area who are dependent on GMC-supplied water complained of receiving thick whitish muddy water today.
�The water we received today was abnormally muddy � not blackish but whitish in colour. This is quite unusual and we have not come across such developments before,� journalist Digambar Patowary, a resident of Pub Sarania, said.
He said that the GMC authorities� attention had been drawn to the development. �The water has undergone a change in appearance and character. Unless the authorities intervene immediately, it can pose a serious health hazard � not to mention the long-term disturbing impact that such a development would have for the whole of Assam,� he said.
According to newspaper reports, tests conducted on samples of Siang water in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on Monday yielded an abnormally high turbidity count of 425 as against the permissible range of 0 to 5.
Many quarters have sought to attribute the development to damming or water diverting activities by China on the upper reaches of the Siang in Tibet. Lok Sabha MP from Arunachal East constituency, Ninong Ering had on Saturday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to take up the matter with the Chinese government on the unusual receding of Siang river at Pasighat and the sudden change in the water quality.
According to the MP, and many locals who swear they had never seen such turbid water in the Siang, it could be the result of a possible diversion of the river involving heavy land excavation in Tibet by China.
There have been media reports about China constructing a tunnel of 1,000 km to divert the Siang water through the Xinjiang province to Taklamakan desert. China, however, had denied the allegation.