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Gogoi writes to PM on China project

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue of a tributary of the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) being blocked in the Tibet Autonomous Region by China with the government of the neighbouring country in the interests of the people of Assam.

Gogoi said in his letter that the official announcement by China on the blocking of a Brahmaputra tributary as part of a major hydroelectric project, is a matter of great concern for the people of Assam in particular and other areas of this part of the globe, like Bangladesh and Bhutan, in general.

He reminded the Prime Minister that when in 2004, the Chinese authorities had constructed such dams over the Brahmaputra in its upper reaches, the State Government had taken up the matter with the then Prime Minister of the country Dr Manmohan Singh and the then Union Water Resources Minister. Dr Singh had taken up the matter with the then Chinese President.

Subsequently, the previous Assam Government also urged the present Union Government to take up the issue of damming the Brahmaputra in its Chinese reaches, as such dams would cause irreparable damage to the State�s economy and would go to the extent of crippling it. For, the economy of the State is mainly dependent on agriculture.

The present bid of the Chinese authorities to block and dam a tributary of the Brahmaputra would have serious adverse impacts on the State�s agriculture and other economic activities connected with this sector. Besides, the implementation of the Look East Policy would also be affected by activities like damming the Brahmaputra or its tributaries in the upper reaches in China, Gogoi said in the letter.

The proposed Chinese hydroelectric project would deprive Assam of the flow of a huge volume of water, which it has been receiving since the flow of the Brahmaputra started in this part of the globe.

It will, therefore, be a great injustice to the people of the State meted out by the government of a neighbouring country, which the Government of India claims to be a friendly one, Gogoi said. He urged Modi to take up the matter urgently and with due earnest with the Chinese Government.

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