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Local, Army Join Hands to address River Pollution in Arunachal Pradesh

In response to rising river pollution in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang district, locals and the Indian army have collaborated to address the issue. The deployment of a floating barrier in the Tawang Chu Nallah aims to intercept and remove trash.

By Ground report
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Local, Army Join Hands to address River Pollution in Arunachal Pradesh

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Concerns over river pollution prompted local action in Arunachal Pradesh, known for its natural beauty. The News Mill reported that despite the pristine surroundings, human activities have started to harm the clear streams and water bodies vital to the ecosystem.

In the Jang circle of Tawang district, villagers have teamed up with the Indian army to control garbage dumping on the Tawang Chu Nallah, a tributary of the Tawang River – the lifeline of the valley.

Pema Khandu, a Panchayat member of Kharsa village, emphasized the urgency of curbing pollution in the Tawang Chu Nallah to prevent a ripple effect on the downstream ecosystem. "We don't use this 'nallah' water for drinking, but it joins the Tawang Chu, a lifeline for Tawang. If we don't curb the pollution in Jang, it will affect people downstream. Moreover, a polluted river sets a bad example, especially as a tourist hotspot," Khandu told The News Mill.

The Indian army and local community deployed a floating barrier to intercept and remove trash polluting the Tawang Chu waters.

The army erected a floating barrier at the junction where the Tawang Chu Nallah exits Jang and converges with Tawang Chu. This intercepted solid waste polluting the major river.

The barrier is strategically placed in the waterway to trap solid waste while minimizing disruption to aquatic life. It consists of two aluminium platforms on either side of the stream, with a net securely fastened between. It is designed to remain buoyant during water level changes. It effectively captures debris and sediments carried by the water current to prevent downstream contamination.

"Many requests from the villagers to clean the river reached us. When chief minister Pema Khandu approached us to find innovative solutions to keep the rivers clean, we did our research and decided to install the floating barriers," an Indian army officer told The News Mill. The army officer stated that the floating barrier cost around Rs 5 lakh and the army is expanding its deployment across streams in the region. He also mentioned that the army invested around Rs 40 lakh to ensure river cleanliness.

Since its installation four months ago, the trapped waste has been regularly collected and dumped away from the river. The barrier has become a means for income generation. "Local people have gathered the sand and stones near it and sold them at construction sites. The villagers are grateful for the Indian army's effort and have also been conscious not to dump garbage into the river. We are imposing a Rs 500 fine on anyone caught," added the panchayat member.

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