GUWAHATI, Nov 16 � The statements made by the State Government in the Assam Assembly on November 11 alleging the anti-dam activists of the NE region not opposing the Chinese bid to dam the Yarlung Sangpo (Siang) is a travesty of truth. Over 50 organisations of the region had sent memorandums to the Prime Ministers of India and China on the issue on September 10 last, asserted the organisations spearheading the anti-mega-dam movement in the State.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) secretary Akhil Gogoi and River Basin Friends moderator Ravindranath told this newspaper, the signatories of the memorandums said that newspaper reports and other sources �confirm� that China �is not building a series of dams only but also diverting water in the upper reaches of the Siang river in the Chinese Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR). These reports also tell of the Chinese bid to divert some millions of gallons of water from the river to the dryer parts of China. This is going to reduce the flow of the river in a massive manner.
� Any blocking of the river either by way of building any kind of dams or by simply diverting it will have irreparable and devastating impact on the ecosystems and the peoples way of life in Tibet, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and also in the lower reaches of Bangladesh,� said the signatory organisations in their memorandums.
They also argued that the arguments of both India and China to dam the rivers like the Yarlung Tsangpo, Lohit and Subansiri are unfounded. The Indian authorities are building dams on the Lohit, Subansiri and other rivers to �pre-empt� the Chinese dams upstream using the logic that if dams are there in the downstream, the dams in the upstream cannot be built. On the contrary, Chinese authorities use the logic that they can build dams in the upstream areas as there is no dam in the downstream areas of the rivers.
The signatory organisations included � the North East Peoples Alliance, NE wide, Arunachal Citizen�s Rights, Adi Students Union (Arunachal Pradesh), Forum for Indigenous Perspectives and Action, Manipur, Dialogue on Indigenous Culture and Environment, Nagaland, River Basin Friends, Assam, People's Movement for Subsansiri Brahmaputra Valley, Assam and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Assam, among others.