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No major change in flow of water in NE: Centre

By Spl correspondent

NEW DELHI, July 17 � While confirming construction of four hydro-electric power projects over the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) at Zangmu in China, the Ministry of Water Resources however said no significant change in flow of water in the North-east is expected.

�Besides the Zangmu project, at least three more projects are considered to be run-of-river (RoR) hydro-electric projects. All these four projects are considered to be RoR hydro-electric projects, any significant change in flow of water in the North-east is not expected,� said Minister of State for Water Resources and River Development Santosh Kumar Gangwar in a Lok Sabha reply.

The Government of India monitors developments over the Brahmaputra river. As a lower riparian state with considerable established user right to the water of the river, India has conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities including at the highest level of the Government of China.

India has urged China to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in the upstream areas, Gangwar said.

Meanwhile, according to data collected by the Central Water Commission (CWC), an area of 0.938 million hectares was affected by flood in Assam and 178 human lives were lost during the last five years (2009-2013).

Management of floods and required measures for safety of people fall within the purview of the state government. Accordingly, plans for the safety of people and their properties are formulated by the state governments concerned according to priorities and available resources, the Minister said, in reply to a separate question by Rajen Gohain and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa.

According to the figures furnished by the Minister, in the last two fiscals (2013-2014 and 2014-2015) the Centre has not sanctioned any funds under the Flood Management Programme.

However, for protection of Majuli Island from flood and erosion, Rs 2.45 crore was sanctioned this fiscal, which is less than the Rs 25.63 crore sanctioned last financial year.

The Minister further added that during the 11th Plan, a total of 100 projects for Assam, including one at Neamati, were cleared under the Flood Management Programme (FMP) and Central assistance of Rs 744.90 crore was released. During the 12th Plan, 41 new projects for Assam have been sanctioned under the FMP.

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