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Experts differ on impact of Brahmaputra diversion

By Ajit Patowary
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GUWAHATI, June 17 � Experts here differ on the impacts of the proposed diversion of the Yarlung Tsangpo river Zangbo by the Chinese authorities, even as there is unison in the demand for expeditious steps on the part of the Indian Government to engage the Chinese Government in a meaningful dialogue on the issue.

Prof J N Sarma, KD Malaviya Chair Professor of Applied Geology Department of Dibrugarh University, who is known for his extensive work on the Brahamputra and other rivers of Assam, said that the point from where the proposed diversion is going to be effected is the most important point in respect to the impacts of the proposed Chinese move on the downstream areas like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bangladesh, etc.

For example, he said, if the diversion takes place at Shigatze, within the Tibetan reach of the river, it will result in reduction of 12 per cent in its total discharge at Pandu in Assam.

The river�s around 32 per cent of its total discharge measured at Pandu, comes from the Passighat point.

For the Chinese authorities, the advantageous point will be the western part of Tibet for the purpose. However, Chinese technology nowadays has made much advancement, he said.

�If the entire Tsangpo is diverted by the Chinese authorities, we will lose about 30 per cent of the Brahmaputra water at Pandu,� he said, adding, �The Yarlung Tsangpo with its length of 1, 625 km within Tibet, contributes about 30 per cent to the Brahmaputra's total discharge at Pandu.�

With this reduction in its discharge, the river will survive but its vigour will be lost and this will result in its morphological changes and other environmental impacts like droughts, in our region, said Prof Sarma.

This will also reduce the river�s navigability, silt carrying capacity, etc, said Prof Sarma, who is also a member of the committee constituted by the Assam Government on the Chinese bid to dam the Brahmaputra.

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Experts differ on impact of Brahmaputra diversion

GUWAHATI, June 17 � Experts here differ on the impacts of the proposed diversion of the Yarlung Tsangpo river Zangbo by the Chinese authorities, even as there is unison in the demand for expeditious steps on the part of the Indian Government to engage the Chinese Government in a meaningful dialogue on the issue.

Prof J N Sarma, KD Malaviya Chair Professor of Applied Geology Department of Dibrugarh University, who is known for his extensive work on the Brahamputra and other rivers of Assam, said that the point from where the proposed diversion is going to be effected is the most important point in respect to the impacts of the proposed Chinese move on the downstream areas like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bangladesh, etc.

For example, he said, if the diversion takes place at Shigatze, within the Tibetan reach of the river, it will result in reduction of 12 per cent in its total discharge at Pandu in Assam.

The river�s around 32 per cent of its total discharge measured at Pandu, comes from the Passighat point.

For the Chinese authorities, the advantageous point will be the western part of Tibet for the purpose. However, Chinese technology nowadays has made much advancement, he said.

�If the entire Tsangpo is diverted by the Chinese authorities, we will lose about 30 per cent of the Brahmaputra water at Pandu,� he said, adding, �The Yarlung Tsangpo with its length of 1, 625 km within Tibet, contributes about 30 per cent to the Brahmaputra's total discharge at Pandu.�

With this reduction in its discharge, the river will survive but its vigour will be lost and this will result in its morphological changes and other environmental impacts like droughts, in our region, said Prof Sarma.

This will also reduce the river�s navigability, silt carrying capacity, etc, said Prof Sarma, who is also a member of the committee constituted by the Assam Government on the Chinese bid to dam the Brahmaputra.

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