The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is an incapable and spineless force. Last year, it faced a major humiliation at the hands of the Indian Army troops in the Galwan Valley. The Chinese troops are finding it hard to even survive in the extremely cold climate of Eastern Ladakh and its high altitude. So, China and PLA are waging a new kind of war – water wars.
Water turns black in Arunachal Pradesh’s East Kameng district:
Water has suddenly turned black in Kameng river in Arunachal Pradesh’s East Kameng district and thousands of fish were found floating dead, in river water. As per a district fisheries official, water has turned black due to concentration of total dissolved substances (TDS). According to the District Fisheries Development Officer (DFDO) Hali Tajo, large presence of TDS creates low visibility and breathing issues for aquatic species, which leads to their deaths in water.
Tajo said, “As the river water contains high TDS, the fish were unable to inhale oxygen.” He also informed that the TDS in the river was 6,800 mg per liter, which is much higher than the normal range of 300-1,200 mg per liter.
Meanwhile, Tajo appealed to the people not to consume the fish, as it may cause serious health issues. The East Kameng district administration too has issued an advisory, asking people to avoid venturing near the Kameng river to catch fish, and not to avoid consuming or selling the dead fish till further order.
Residents of Seppa blame China:
Meanwhile, the residents of Seppa have blamed China for the rise in the TDS in the river. They have alleged that the riverwater has turned black due to construction activity in the neighbouring regions of China.
Seppa MLA Tapuk Taku has even appealed to the state government to constitute a committee of experts to find out the reasons behind the change in colour of Kameng river’s water and death of fish in riverwater. A concerned Taku said that no such incident had happened in the past and warned, “If it continues for more than a few days, the aquatic life from the river will be totally eliminated”. He also opined that the sudden change in the colour of riverwater may be due to a massive landslide in the upper belt of the district.
However, the lawmaker added, “There may be other reasons as well. The state government should immediately constitute a fact-finding committee to study the situation at the earliest”.
Past allegations against China:
Interestingly, the Siang river at Pasighat in east Siang district had also turned black in a similar manner in November 2017. At that time, the then Congress MP from Arunachal, Ninong Ering, had sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention, while alleging that the change in colour was caused by construction of a 10,000-km-long tunnel in China diverting water from Siang to Xinjiang province in the Taklamakan desert. China had, of course, denied the allegation.
In fact, as an upstream country of some major Asian rivers, China has an infamous track record of waging water wars. It has practically dried the Mekong river, which is the lifeline of many Southeast Asian nations like Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, by building eleven dams on the river.
Last year, it was reported that India is considering a plan to build a 10 gigawatts (GW) hydropower project in a remote eastern state following news reports suggesting that China could construct dams on a section of the Brahmaputra River. Indian authorities are concerned that the Chinese project could trigger flash floods or create water scarcity and, therefore, as a countermeasure, they have floated the idea to build the dam to help avoid any possibility of drought in the region.
The Chinese PLA is a cowardly force that cannot match the valour of the Indian Army troops. Therefore, China is relying on seemingly petty strategies including water wars, to pressurise India.