NEW DELHI, June 14 � Amidst growing concern over China�s latest plan to divert water of the Brahmaputra, the Ministry of External Affairs downplayed the fresh controversy stating that there was no cause for immediate alarm.
The MEA statement issued today came even as Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi expressing his concern at the media reports said that he is going to raise the issue with External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna.
�We did raise the issue with the Central Government in the past. We are concerned like everybody and we will take it up with Government of India,� he told newsmen.
Gogoi�s reaction follows the concern expressed by the
delegation of Arunachal Pradesh at a meeting with officials of Planning Commission on Monday.
�Recent reports about Chinese plans to construct a dam on the Brahmaputra and possibly divert the river waters to Northern China are not new but based on previously known facts,� said the official spokesman of the MEA, reacting to reports of construction of a Chinese dam on Brahmaputra river and possibility of diversion.
�It is a fact that China is constructing a dam at Zangmu in the middle reaches of the Yarlung Tsangpo (as the Brahmaputra is called in Tibet). We have ascertained from our own sources that this is a run-of-the-river hydro-electric project, which does not store water and will not adversely impact the downstream areas in India,� sources said.
�Therefore, I believe there is no cause for immediate alarm,� he said.
�I would like to share with you the fact that a large proportion of the catchment of the Brahmaputra is within Indian territory. It is important that the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilize the waters of the Brahmaputra. This is the really important issue,� he said.
Meanwhile, BJP on Tuesday demanded that India should immediately take up the Brahmaputra issue with China at the highest level. The construction of dams in the upper reaches of Brahmaputra will divert its flow to their water starved Northern regions thereby creating major problems in India.
India should enter into a straight talk with China on the three issues of Brahmaputra, Stapled Visa and its transgressing activities along the Arunanchal border, BJP spokesman Prakash Javedkar said.