ITANAGAR, May 13 � The ruling Congress in Arunachal Pradesh has aired its strong opposition to China�s reported move to construct a dam in the upper reaches of river Brahmaputra. It also rejected the oft-repeated Chinese claims on the territory of Arunachal.
The controversy follows media reports on a series of �yes� and �nos� on China�s plan to build a $167-million hydropower plant on Tsangpo river (Brahmaputra in India) with generating capacity of 500 MW in Zangmu, 140 km southeast of Tibet�s capital Lhasa, and divert water to its parched northwest and northeast territories, creating a panic in North East region including Arunachal that diversion of water from the Brahmaputra would lead to natural disaster in the region.
The 2,906-km-long Brahmaputra traverses its first stretch of 1,625 km in Tibet, the next 918 km in India and the remaining 363 km through Bangladesh before converging into the Bay of Bengal.
Although Beijing has clarified, in its effort to quell Indian fears that China has designs on the river water, that the �small� dam being constructed by it will not have any adverse impact on the river�s downstream in the North East, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Nabam Tuki, while addressing a press conference here today said, �We, the Congress in Arunachal, defiantly oppose the Chinese move on the dam project.
Citing the 2000 flash floods in the Siang river that wreaked havoc leaving a trail of destruction in the region, Tuki questioned, �Who knows the China dam will affect us or not?
�It�s the apt time we, the Arunachalis cutting across party affiliations, must air our strong objection on it.�
The APCC president said that the Centre, following the series of protests in the North East, has constituted an experts� technical committee comprising members from the Central Water Commission to study the downstream impact of the Chinese dam. The committee is likely to submit its report soon, he added.
On China�s ill-motive of staking its claims on parts of Arunachal time and again, Tuki said the question of claiming Arunachal by the neighbouring country bears no ground, as the Frontier State has been having democratically elected governments for last three decades and has been sending representatives to the Indian Parliament since its inception.
Refusing to comment on the statement made by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh during his recent trip to Beijing proposing to hire Chinese expertise in developing the hydropower projects in the State, the APCC chief said the Central leaders have already discussed the matter at the highest level. �So, I have no comment on this and above all, it�s not the State subject to think about.�
Meanwhile, the State Congress president has turned down the All Nyishi Youth Association�s demand for resignation of Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu for alleged failure to prepare the annual operating plan during the last fiscal in time and said its demand does not hold any ground since the State government has already clarified its stand on the matter.