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State moves Centre to take up issue

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 18 � Wary of the downstream impact of the dam constructed by China on the river Brahmaputra, the State Government has decided to move the Centre urging the latter to take up the issue with its Chinese counterpart.

Referring to the recent reports about China going in a big way in dam construction on the river Brahmaputra by diverting its flow, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said, �We had moved the Centre in this respect way back in 2006 and the issue would be taken up once again as China has admitted construction of a 510-MW hydro power station.�

Gogoi was for a study both at the State and the Centre level to assess the hazardous impact of the project, especially on the Northeastern region.

�Though China is denying any possible downstream impacts, we need to remain vigilant on it and assess the situation ourselves. We need to ensure that no damage is caused by the project,� Gogoi said, admitting to the fact that the absence of any water sharing treaty between the two countries is creating problems. He was addressing a press conference here.

Gogoi further stated that the State Government has been insisting on the formation of the North East Water Resources Association (NEWRA) to effectively control flood and erosion.

Stating that the Government will go in a big way to check soil erosion in the State, Gogoi said that the State would raise a corpus fund of Rs 50 Crore to control soil erosion and the Centre would also be asked to contribute and ensure effective rehabilitation of the affected people.

�Steps are also being initiated to strengthen the Brahmaputra Board to get the desired results,� Gogoi added.

Countering the allegations leveled by senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh on the Lower Subansiri Project, Gogoi said that the saffron party has always resorted to double-standard, especially ahead of elections.

�It was they who started the project (Lower Subansiri) and now they are opposing it. Be it the issue of illegal migrants or dams, BJP�s stand has been ambiguous.

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