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Kameng river turns turbid, fishes found floating dead

Seppa East MLA Tapuk Taku appealed to the State Government to immediately constitute a fact-finding committee involving the experts to find out the reason behind the abrupt change in watercolour of Kameng river and fishes floating dead in huge numbers in the river.

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Itanagar: In a sudden ‘development’, the Kameng river in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh has turned muddy and a large number of fishes were found floating dead this morning, prompting the concerned environment lovers to seek government intervention to unearth
its reason, official sources said.

Seppa East MLA Tapuk Taku appealed to the State Government to immediately constitute a fact-finding committee involving the experts to find out the reason behind the abrupt change in watercolour of Kameng river and fishes floating dead in huge numbers in the river.

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Due to the high total dissolved substances (TDS) and turbidity of the river water, huge numbers of fishes are dying and floating in the Kameng river since last night, official sources said.

District Fisheries Development Officer (DFDO) Hali Tajo said, “This morning, we noticed the Kameng river water turned muddy and the lifeless fishes were floating on the river water. In our initial investigation with available testing kits, we found that the total dissolved substances (TDS) level of river water is very high in comparison to normal TDS,” he said.

“Around 10 am, we found around 6800mg per litre in Kameng river water whereas normal TDS ranges from 300 to 1300. Around 2 pm, we have again tested the water quality and found TDS rage is little reducing, around 4000 mg per litre,” he said.

When the TDS level is high there will be a low dissolved oxygen level in the water and then the gills of fishes will affect, as a result of which fishes are unable to inhale dissolved oxygen and then die. If the TDS level remains the same for a few days it will be very risky for the aquatic lives of the river, he added.

Asked about the sudden change in river water colour, the DFDO said, “We failed to find out the reason behind muddy water but we have observed that the river water level is normal.”

The officer said that consumption of such dead fishes may affect people’s health and requested the local public not to consume such fish. Having found the tens of thousands of fishes floating dead, the locals rushed to the river to catch the fishes, compelling the district administration to issue an ‘order’ prohibiting the sale of such fishes in the market, apprehending that those fishes may not be safe for human consumption.

The DA also said that the reason for the muddy river water is yet to be ascertained, sources said.

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