GUWAHATI, March 4 - Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta today claimed that a landslide in China was the reason for the Brahmaputra water turning muddy in February-end and informed that China has begun sharing hydrological data with the Central Water Commission.
Mahanta was replying to a call attention motion moved by BJP MLA Ashok Singhal and AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam over a media report that blamed China for the change of colour of the Brahmaputra river water last month.
Admitting that the river water turned muddy during February, the minister said water samples were collected from different stretches and lab tests conducted on them.
All parameters were within permissible limits and there were no poisonous substances, he said, adding that turbidity was 5 NTU which was within standard range.
�We then checked the satellite imagery which showed a landslide � the possible reason for the river water turning muddy. The imagery showed no construction activity on the river,� he said.
Mahanta said unlike a similar instance in 2017, there were no reports of fish deaths in the river this time. �In 2017, there was a similar phenomenon. I along with officials of the water resources department had visited Tuting and the nearby areas then. The water was tested at various stretches and no poisonous substances were found,� he said.
Later, the State government had impressed upon the Central government to take up the issue with China. The matter was raised during the visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister in December that year.
�In that meeting, China had agreed for the first time to share hydrological data. We had been getting the data since then through the CWC,� the minister added.
Singhal alleged that though China in 2010 had admitted that it was implementing six projects on the river, there are �evidences� which reveal that over 40 projects are being undertaken in a bid to divert the river water to northern China.
�The politburo in 1958 had adopted a proposal to quench the thirst of northern China through the waters in the south,� he said, adding that China was not addressing the concerns of the riparian states.
Islam too expressing concern felt that if China was not cooperating, the matter should be taken up at the United Nations as the �river does not belong to any one country.�