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Brahmaputra water unfit for drinking: State Govt
Spl Correspondent

 NEW DELHI, Dec 7 - Officially confirming for the first time, the Government of Assam has admitted that the water of the Brahmaputra is polluted and not fit for drinking, expressing its apprehension that China may have undertaken artificial intervention.

Briefing newsmen, State Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta said that the Brahmaputra water is no longer fit for drinking. The authorities have come to the conclusion after examining water sample at three different points in the State.

Examination reports have revealed massive pollution of the river, Mahanta said.

Water levels of three ghats – Maijan, Bogibeel and Tezpur – were examined by the Ministry of Water Resources.

Mahanta disclosed that alarming Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) level was detected, including at Maijan Ghat (NTU level 295), Bogibeel Ghat (404) and at Tezpur Ghat (162).

The Minister said water samples have been despatched to NEIST Jorhat and IIT Guwahati for further examination and to ascertain whether the water was chemically polluted. The Minister said that there is apprehension that China may be responsible for the pollution.

The Minister further revealed that the State government has written to the Centre detailing the test results.

A letter written on December 5 to the Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, said that since last part of November, there is significant change in the colour of the water of the Brahmaputra. The water is found to be highly turbid. Such condition is highly during this part of the season.

Similar phenomenon has also known to be observed in Arunachal Pradesh. It is suspected that there may be unusual natural calamity or an artificial intervention may have taken place or continuing in the upper catchment of the Brahmaputra in Tibet region.

There are reports in the media that the Central Water Commission have already tested the water qualities of the Brahmaputra at different locations and Government of India has obtained the factual information on the actual cause of such unnatural phenomenon.

The State government asked the Centre to share the findings by the CWC, the reports of the water quality test and the actual cause of such phenomenon.

According to a State government report, while the acceptable level for drinking water is pH 6.5-7.5, the pH level at Maijan Ghat was 6.8 and the turbidity was 295 NTU. At Bogibeel Ghat, the pH level was 6.8.

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