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Low Dissolved Oxygen killing fishes in Kameng River

Photo Credit: Social Media

Itanagar: East Kameng district fisheries development officer (DFDO) Hali Tajo has clarified that the mysterious death of fishes in East Kameng district has nothing to do with a disease outbreak and neither have they been poisoned.

“After testing water samples and the carcasses of the fishes we have come to a preliminary conclusion that the total dissolved solids (TDS) level of Kameng River is around 6800 mg/litre which very high than normal. This hampers the mobility of the fishes and makes it difficult for them to inhale oxygen. When the TDS level of water is high, the dissolved oxygen level automatically drops down,” Tajo told NewsFy.

According to World Health Organization, TDS level less than 300 mg/litre is considered as excellent, between 300 and 600 mg/liter is good, 600-900 is fair, 900 — 1200 is poor and TDS level more than 1200 mg/liter is unacceptable.       

Tajo said, poor turbidity level of Kameng River is also one of the reasons behind the death of fishes as the river is full of muddy content at present.

When asked about the possible reasons behind the river getting muddy, the DFDO said such instances occur when there are landslides or if a reservoir breaks down at the upper ridges of the river.

“I am really not sure about the actual cause of the river getting muddy, but the weather here has been perfect for the past few days,” he said.

Tajo has also asked the people to stay away from consuming the fishes which have died to “unnatural consequences”.

Photo Credit: Social Media

The denizens of Seppa, the headquarters of East Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh woke to the sight of hundreds of dead fishes floating along the banks of Kameng River on Friday that not only sent panic waves in the district but also across the state.

As hours passed by, the speculations surrounding the mysterious deaths of the fishes also started to trend on social media with many claiming that the fishes might have been poisoned while some also suspected a “Chinese hand” to it.

“We cannot rule out the Chinese hand in it as the Siang River in East Siang district had turned muddy in a similar fashion in 2017 after China had begun some construction upstream,” a local from Seppa said.

China, had, however denied the allegations.

The Kameng River originates in the Tawang district of Arunachal from the glacial lake below snow-capped Gori Chen Mountain on the India-Tibet border in South Tibet.

The river is about 264 kms long.

The East Kameng district also shares an international border with China in the north.

Other possibilities not ruled out yet

Meanwhile, Seppa Town Magistrate Pooza Sonam said “the administration has so far managed to bring the panicky situation under control and necessary directives and advisories have been circulated asking the people to stay away from venturing into the river.”

We have also asked the people to stop selling and consuming the dead fishes, she said.

Sonam also said that the reason behind the Kameng river getting suddenly muddy is yet to be ascertained, however, efforts and on to find out the same and none of the other possibilities are being ruled out.

“We will decide on the further course of action once the deputy commissioner is back in the station,” she said.

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