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Centre allays fear on Brahmaputra China dam issue

By Spl Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, June 16 � Under pressure, the Ministry of External Affairs has allayed apprehensions over the possibility of China diverting Brahmaputra river, assuring that India is constantly monitoring the flow of the river from the neighbouring country into India.

But in a first such admission of its kind, the Foreign Minister admitted that China had blocked the flow of the river to facilitate construction of a dam but had at the same time opened two channels to maintain flow of the Yarlung Tsangpo river.

The Ministry of External Affairs detailed reaction to the controversy came after Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to raise the issue. Later, Gogoi expressed his satisfaction with the assurance given by Krishna during his half-an-hour meeting.

�I have been told that the Government of India has ascertained through satellite imagery that nothing has come to their notice that is alarming. There is no need for alarm,� Gogoi told newsmen.

The Government of India is monitoring the situation regularly and Krishna has confirmed that the projects are all run-of-the-river project with no storage dams.

The Chief Minister seconded the MEA�s assertion by stating that flow of water into Assam has not decreased. In fact volume of water during the rainy season continues to be high, he added.

A mechanism is in place and functioning, besides Government of Assam has also appointed an expert committee to look into such issues. Besides water resources management, he said, it was important to establish the user�s right first.

A MEA spokesman later said the Chief Minister met the External Affairs Minister and he went fully reassured. ����

Meanwhile, an official spokesman of the MEA made a detailed statement on the issue. Denying any diversion or construction of dam by China, an official spokesman said that government has ascertained this through satellite imagery. �Nothing has come to our notice that is alarming,� he said.

It is a fact that China is constructing a dam. But it is a run-of-the river project. Due to construction of the dam, they have stopped the flow of the river, but they have created two channels through which water is flowing unhindered.

�We have facilities like satellites which produce superb imagery. The Government of India is closely monitoring the entire length of the river,� he said. �So, we are not concerned or disturbed,� he added.

Adding further, the sources claimed that the government�s own agencies have investigated the whole issue.

Brahmaputra river has a large catchment area within India. A large volume of water is added in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. �We have enough water for our own development needs,� sources said.

�We need to utilise and harness this water instead of blaming someone else,� he added.

It was also pointed out that India and China have an expert level mechanism that meets every year and China shares data twice daily during the months of June to October, he said.

The MEA also took a dig at the media stating that reports were alarming, sensational and not adhering to facts.

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Centre allays fear on Brahmaputra China dam issue

NEW DELHI, June 16 � Under pressure, the Ministry of External Affairs has allayed apprehensions over the possibility of China diverting Brahmaputra river, assuring that India is constantly monitoring the flow of the river from the neighbouring country into India.

But in a first such admission of its kind, the Foreign Minister admitted that China had blocked the flow of the river to facilitate construction of a dam but had at the same time opened two channels to maintain flow of the Yarlung Tsangpo river.

The Ministry of External Affairs detailed reaction to the controversy came after Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to raise the issue. Later, Gogoi expressed his satisfaction with the assurance given by Krishna during his half-an-hour meeting.

�I have been told that the Government of India has ascertained through satellite imagery that nothing has come to their notice that is alarming. There is no need for alarm,� Gogoi told newsmen.

The Government of India is monitoring the situation regularly and Krishna has confirmed that the projects are all run-of-the-river project with no storage dams.

The Chief Minister seconded the MEA�s assertion by stating that flow of water into Assam has not decreased. In fact volume of water during the rainy season continues to be high, he added.

A mechanism is in place and functioning, besides Government of Assam has also appointed an expert committee to look into such issues. Besides water resources management, he said, it was important to establish the user�s right first.

A MEA spokesman later said the Chief Minister met the External Affairs Minister and he went fully reassured. ����

Meanwhile, an official spokesman of the MEA made a detailed statement on the issue. Denying any diversion or construction of dam by China, an official spokesman said that government has ascertained this through satellite imagery. �Nothing has come to our notice that is alarming,� he said.

It is a fact that China is constructing a dam. But it is a run-of-the river project. Due to construction of the dam, they have stopped the flow of the river, but they have created two channels through which water is flowing unhindered.

�We have facilities like satellites which produce superb imagery. The Government of India is closely monitoring the entire length of the river,� he said. �So, we are not concerned or disturbed,� he added.

Adding further, the sources claimed that the government�s own agencies have investigated the whole issue.

Brahmaputra river has a large catchment area within India. A large volume of water is added in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. �We have enough water for our own development needs,� sources said.

�We need to utilise and harness this water instead of blaming someone else,� he added.

It was also pointed out that India and China have an expert level mechanism that meets every year and China shares data twice daily during the months of June to October, he said.

The MEA also took a dig at the media stating that reports were alarming, sensational and not adhering to facts.

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