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Centre allays fear over China dam

By Raju Das
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SHILLONG, April 4 � India must also build storage facilities for River Brahmaputra�s water in the same manner China was doing.

Union Minister for Water Resources, Salman Khurshid said, India must stop worrying about China�s dams and instead focus on building storage facilities for River Brahmaputra�s water.

He said such storage facilities would help the people of the region to address issues of flood and drinking water requirements. �We need to store water from the River Brahmaputra to address issues like flood and drinking water needs,� Khurshid said here.

China is building dams at Zangmu, Tibet on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra known as Yarlung-Tsangpo. The Zangmu project would tap the immense hydropower potential of the Brahmaputra for energy-starved Chinese population.

The biggest fear though is China�s reported plan to divert water from Brahmaputra for its arid northern provinces to replenish agriculture there to feed its growing population.

Khurshid said the Centre was keeping a �close eye� on China�s dam constructions and said the situation need not be viewed as alarming at this juncture.

�China has given us an assurance that flow of water would not be affected on the River Brahmaputra and it has not. The issue is not alarming,� he said on the sidelines of a workshop on water resource management with reference to flood.

Overall, the senior Congress leader�s statement was a tacit blessing for construction of dams on the Brahmaputra, a sensitive subject in Assam, especially during the ongoing Assembly elections.

Various organisations in Assam have registered their opposition to the construction of the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Power Project in Arunachal Pradesh. They have pointed out that such a mega dam would have serious repercussions on the ecology and the people of the region.

Khurshid, nonetheless, clarified that any decision for constructing big dams would rest primarily with the state governments concerned of the region.

The Central Government, Khurshid assured, �would not take any decision that would endanger public lives. Necessary consultations would be held between the Centre and state governments together with experts on the issue of constructing big dams,� he said.

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Centre allays fear over China dam

SHILLONG, April 4 � India must also build storage facilities for River Brahmaputra�s water in the same manner China was doing.

Union Minister for Water Resources, Salman Khurshid said, India must stop worrying about China�s dams and instead focus on building storage facilities for River Brahmaputra�s water.

He said such storage facilities would help the people of the region to address issues of flood and drinking water requirements. �We need to store water from the River Brahmaputra to address issues like flood and drinking water needs,� Khurshid said here.

China is building dams at Zangmu, Tibet on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra known as Yarlung-Tsangpo. The Zangmu project would tap the immense hydropower potential of the Brahmaputra for energy-starved Chinese population.

The biggest fear though is China�s reported plan to divert water from Brahmaputra for its arid northern provinces to replenish agriculture there to feed its growing population.

Khurshid said the Centre was keeping a �close eye� on China�s dam constructions and said the situation need not be viewed as alarming at this juncture.

�China has given us an assurance that flow of water would not be affected on the River Brahmaputra and it has not. The issue is not alarming,� he said on the sidelines of a workshop on water resource management with reference to flood.

Overall, the senior Congress leader�s statement was a tacit blessing for construction of dams on the Brahmaputra, a sensitive subject in Assam, especially during the ongoing Assembly elections.

Various organisations in Assam have registered their opposition to the construction of the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydro Electric Power Project in Arunachal Pradesh. They have pointed out that such a mega dam would have serious repercussions on the ecology and the people of the region.

Khurshid, nonetheless, clarified that any decision for constructing big dams would rest primarily with the state governments concerned of the region.

The Central Government, Khurshid assured, �would not take any decision that would endanger public lives. Necessary consultations would be held between the Centre and state governments together with experts on the issue of constructing big dams,� he said.

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