Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh, Ninong Ering on Thursday met Union Water Resources Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal and demanded compensation for the losses incurred by farmers and fishermen due to the contamination of the Siang River in the state.
After the meeting, Ering said, “I have requested the Minister to compensate the State Governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in order to help the local fishermen and farmers overcome their losses.”
Ering said the Minister assured to take cognizance and look into the matter on an urgent basis. He said that a number of associated ministries will also look into the issue, adding that he will soon write to the Union Home Minister, too, and seek compensation for the farmers and fishermen.
Ering has been raising the issue at the national front and has been writing to several ministries, including to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to draw attention towards the Siang River turning muddy.
Up to ten inches of sediment has accumulated on some stretches of the riverbed and fishes have been dying, while the State Water Quality Testing Laboratory (SWQTL) has declared the water is unfit for human consumption; the Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) content of the water sample was 482, while the iron content was recorded at 1.65 mg/litre – beyond permissible limits.
Meanwhile, November and December are peak rafting season on the Siang river, but this year it is not the grade IV rapids that are scaring away enthusiasts – it’s the extreme muddiness of the river.
“We have not been able to raft at Siang. It is scary to put the rafts in,” said Oken Tayeng of Abor Country Travels, which organizes rafting expeditions. All rafting activities have been put on halt, he said.