28th Nov 2017 10:11:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

The otherwise crystal clear waters of the Siang river this time of year has baffled many with its ‘cement-like’ appearance. The suspiciously muddy nature of the water has raised concern that China might be constructing infrastructure to divert its waters as reported earlier, which it has denied.

Recent reports suggested that China is constructing a 1,000km long tunnel—the world’s longest—to divert water from the Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region.

Large scale fish deaths along the river banks reported from Tuting and Geling in Upper Siang district close to the Chinese border also raises alarm about the possible use of toxic substance in the upper reaches.

Water warfare as predicted long before, is clearly on display with China having the vantage point of many of the rivers in South East Asia originating from the Tibetan plateau, has used it as a political tool and as leverage on a downstream country –India.

China has denied India flood-related hydrological data since May this year, even as major flooding hit the region from Assam to Uttar Pradesh. Data on upstream river flows is essential for flood forecasting and warning in order to save lives and reduce material losses. China’s action violates two bilateral MOUs of 2013 and a 2014 accord, which obligate it to transfer hydrological data to India from three upstream monitoring stations in Tibet every year from May 15 to October 15. 

For long, China has been damming its many rivers as a way of flexing its muscles with co-riparian India with sans regard of the consequences.

The issues of downstream communities must be treated from a humanitarian perspective as in many cases this has resulted in greater frequency and severity of flooding, drought and pollution. International cooperation on shared water resources is critical and must be strengthened and adhered to at all costs.

The dispensation in the state must get its act together and mount pressure on the Centre to take up the issue expeditiously in international forum.

Not just the Siang but all major rivers of Arunachal originate across the border. Imagine, if similar is the case with them. Rivers are the lifeline of the people and indiscriminate tampering in the upper reaches will spell doom for the downstream communities including the riverine ecosystem.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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