LANDSLIDES ON KAMENG RIVER

  • Recently, the landslides caused by an earthquake of 3.4 magnitude close to the border with China has led to mass fish death in the Kameng river in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The region has been placed into Seismic Zone V, thus most vulnerable to earthquakes.

Important points:

  • The earthquake happened in the vicinity of the source of the river at an elevation of about 6,300 metres above Mean Sea Level.
  • The landslides dumped several tonnes of mud and rocks into the river, substantially reducing the flow of water.
  • The river turned blackish due to very high turbidity resulting in low dissolved oxygen that killed the fish.
  • Low dissolved oxygen concentrations can arise through natural phenomena that include seasonality, changes in river flow, and both saline and thermal stratification of the water column.
  • Low dissolved oxygen levels can also indicate an excessive demand on the oxygen in the system.

Kameng River:

  • It originates in Tawang district from the glacial lake below snow-capped Gori Chen mountain on the India-Tibet border.
  • Kameng is not a transboundary river.
  • It flows through Bhalukpong circle of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh and Sonitpur District of Assam.
  • It becomes a braided river in its lower reaches and is one of the major tributaries of the Brahmaputra River.
  • It joins Brahmaputra river at Tezpur, just east of the Kolia Bhomora Setu bridge, Assam.
  • It forms the boundary between East Kameng District and West Kameng Districts.
  • It also forms the boundary between the Sessa and Eaglenest sanctuaries to its west (Arunachal Pradesh) and the Pakke tiger reserve to the east (Arunachal Pradesh).
  • The Dafla Hills are east and the Aka Hills are located west of the Kameng River.
  • Tributaries: Tippi, Tenga, Bichom and Dirang Chu.

Significance:

  • During the medieval period i.e. between 13th to early 16th century, it marked the borders between the Chutiya kingdom and the Kamata kingdom.
  • Later, in the 16th century, after the annexation of the Chutiya kingdom by the Ahoms and the downfall of Kamata kingdom, it acted as the border between the Ahom kingdom and Baro-Bhuyan rule.
  • The Chutiya Kingdom (also Sadiya) was a late medieval state that developed around Sadiya in present Assam and adjoining areas in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • The Kamata Kingdom emerged in western Kamarupa probably when Sandhya, a ruler of Kamarupanagara, moved his capital west to Kamatapur sometime after 1257 CE.
  • Kamarupa is an ancient state corresponding roughly to what is now the state of Assam.
  • Sukapha was a 13th-century ruler who founded the Ahom kingdom that ruled Assam for six centuries.
  • The Baro-Bhuyans refers to the confederacies of soldier-landowners in Assam and Bengal in late middle age and early modern period.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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