NEW DELHI, June 16 (IANS): China has assured India it is only building a run-of-the-river power project on the Brahmaputra that would not divert the river, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Thursday.
"Chinese authorities have conveyed to us that it is going to be a run-of-the-river project and there is going to be no reservoir. As a result, the question of diversion or storage of the water doesn't arise," Krishna told reporters after meeting Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi here.
Krishna said China had conveyed to India it was going to have a "run-of-the-river" power project and there was no question of diverting the Brahmaputra waters.
He also said India was monitoring the development though satellites to verify reports.
"We have been monitoring through our satellite pictures as well as in our interaction with Chinese authorities. We also have made verification of our own," he said.
"The question of any water being impounded is not there.
"So when this is the case, my earnest suggestion to the governments of Assam as also Arunachal Pradesh is they should go ahead and prepare the necessary project reports in order to utilise the Brahmaputra water to the maximum benefit of the people," he added.
Krishna noted that Gogoi had explained the problem of floods in the Brahmaputra as "a constant source of worry".
"They (Assam) will have to prepare a plan in consultation with the Planning Commission and other agencies so that Brahmaputra water will be put to good use for the benefit of the two states," he added.
Gogoi said there were reports of diversion of Brahmaputra water by China, and this could have an adverse ecological impact on his state.
"I have discussed this with Krishna and he told me ... there will be no impact and there will be no shortage of water," Gogoi said.
"We are having problems of flooding also. We are very much concerned about containing the water (by China) and possible soil erosion also."
Pointing out that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier announced the creation of a northeastern river water authority, Gogoi said Arunachal Pradesh had not agreed to the idea.
"The purpose (of the authority) is the full utilisation and proper management of waters, whether for irrigation or power. We (Assam) are contemplating having an (authority) of our own. We have constituted an expert committee also," he added.