VK Singh
VK Singh

India in talks with China on Siang River contamination

ANI | Updated: Jul 18, 2018 19:42 IST

New Delhi [India], July 18 (ANI): The Centre on Wednesday informed in Parliament that India has raised the issue of contamination of water in Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh with the Chinese side on several occasions.
Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs General (retired), VK Singh, noted that the issue was also taken up by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during her recent visit to China.
"In this regard, Government has noted statements by Chinese authorities stating that the situation was caused by an earthquake in the region and was not a man-made incident," he added.
Singh further said that the government is monitoring the water flow in trans-border Rivers, including Brahmaputra River and its tributaries, for early detection of any abnormality, so that corrective and preventive measures are taken to safeguard the livelihood of the people in these regions.
"As a lower riparian State with considerable established user rights to the waters of the trans-border Rivers, Government has consistently conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels, and has urged them to ensure that the interests of downstream States are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas," Singh said.
He further assured that the Government intends to remain engaged with China on the issue of trans-border Rivers to safeguard national interest, including through an institutionalised Expert Level Mechanism which was established in 2006.
Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Wuhan City in China for an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, the two sides renewed the MoU on the provision of hydrological information for Brahmaputra River during floods by China to India.
The Chinese side has since started providing hydrological information for the Brahmaputra River.
Siang is the constituent river of the Brahmaputra, which flows from a 1,600 kilometre stretch in southern Tibet, known as Yarlung Tsangpo or Yarlung Zangbo before it enters the Indian Territory.
In December last year, India had expressed concern over the Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh turning black, saying that the matter was also brought up during Swaraj's meeting with her Chinese counterpart. (ANI)