GUWAHATI, May 8 - The Government of India is putting pressure on China to share the details of the hydropower projects being set up by the neighbouring country on the Brahmaputra river.
Highly placed sources in the Government of India told The Assam Tribune that till date, India is not aware of the full details of the projects being set up by China on the Brahmaputra river. The Government of China has been insisting that the projects would be run-of-the-river projects and those would not affect the flow of water to India.
However, the Government of India is of the view that those projects might affect the flow of water to the downstream areas. The experts of India, who were consulted by the government, were also of the view that with the construction of hydropower projects, China would be able to control the flow of water to India. As parts of China are facing severe water crisis, there is also an apprehension that the possibility of China diverting water of the Brahmaputra to the water-starved areas of the country cannot be ruled out.
In view of the possible dangers, the Government of India is putting pressure on China to divulge the details of the projects that are being set up on the Brahmaputra. Sources said that the Government of India is keen on signing a formal agreement with China so that the neighbouring country has to provide the technical details of the projects including water storage and release facilities. �The Government of India even wants that engineers and experts of India should be allowed to visit the projects in China so that they can have a first-hand look at the projects,� sources added.
Sources pointed out that as per international laws, the interests of the water users of the lower riparian countries would have to be looked into by any country while constructing major projects in the upstream of major rivers. Though India has not constructed any major project on the Brahmaputra, the Government of India is of the view that setting up of projects in the upstream of the river would disturb the ecology of the downstream areas. Sources said that the Government of India is using this point to put pressure on China to share the details of the projects being set up in the upstream of the Brahmaputra.
It may be mentioned here that the reports of China constructing hydropower projects in the upstream of the Brahmaputra river is causing apprehension in the minds of the people living in the downstream areas. China has always been claiming that construction of the run-of-the-river projects would not affect the flow of water to the downstream areas, but so far, the neighbouring country has not shared the details of the projects with India.