Sonowal meets PM, top Cabinet over Brahmaputra waters turning black

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention on the issue of river Brahmaputra flowing black waters in several parts of the state.

River Brahmaputra, that flows in from China, was tested muddy and unfit for drinking after lab reports suggested that the river was contaminated.

Earlier, Arunachal East MP Ninong Ering wrote a letter to the prime minister highlighting the issue with the Siang river which flows into Assam as Brahmaputra.

Sonowal met the Prime Minister in New Delhi on Tuesday. The meeting was also attended by Union home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley, minister of road transport, water resources and river development Nitin Gadkari, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, among others.

The prime minister assured Sonowal that the Centre took up the matter seriously and engaged central water commission to look into the matter and directed the ministry of water resources to take remedial steps on a war footing. Modi also asked other ministries to work in synergy and directed the ministry of water resources to ensure scientific tests of the Brahmaputra water to ascertain the physical and chemical composition of the river water where it turned black.

Considering the trans-national extent of the Brahmaputra, the prime minister also asked the external affairs ministry to take up the matter with the respective country to get into the root cause of the problem and find a positive solution.

Sushma Swaraj maintained that her ministry took up the matter very seriously and has already contacted China and a pragmatic and exhaustive study is being undertaken to find the real cause.

Sonowal informed Prime Minister Modi that the state government following the development directed director general of emergency and fire services to collect water samples from 15 places from Jonai to Dhubri and in pursuance to the direction emergency and fire services department already sent the water samples to the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad and IIT, Guwahati.

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