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India verifying reports on Brahmaputra dam
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 15
In yet another instance of Beijing misleading India, China is said to be building a large-scale dam project on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river in its territory, which could trigger a major crisis for the people of north-eastern states.

Reacting to a news report in this regard, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said New Delhi had taken up this matter with Beijing in the past during meetings of India-China experts on trans-border river issues and the Chinese side had categorically denied that there was a plan to build any such large-scale diversion project on the Brahmaputra river.

The government was looking into the news report to ascertain whether there were recent developments which suggested any change in the position conveyed to India by China, he added. The Brahmaputra flows for about 1625 km inside the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and for a further 918 km inside India.

“Keeping in mind that the river in an economic resource for the development of the local communities in the two countries, India and China had agreed in November 2006 to establish an expert-level mechanism to discuss trans-border issues in an institutional way. Three meetings have been held so far,’’ the Indian spokesman said.

He added that during these meetings, New Delhi had taken up with the Chinese side reports about the construction of the dam or diversion project in the Brahmaputra. India had also conveyed that such a project might have significant impact on the socio-economic condition of people living downstream. The Indian side had also expressed the hope that the Chinese side would not undertake a large-scale project or divert the waters of the Brahmputra.

Experts say the dam being built by China could affect the livelihood of the people living in north eastern states. It could also lead to flash floods in these states whenever China releases excess water.



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