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Brahmaputra dam issue: India monitoring activities across border: Krishna

June 16, 2011 - New Delhi

External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna citing assurances from China, on Thursday said the course of Brahmaputra was not being diverted as was being apprehended, but maintained that activities across the border are being monitored.

"We have been monitoring the developments both through satellite pictures as well as in an interaction with Chinese authorities. Chinese authorities have conveyed to us that it is going to be a 'run over river' power project," said Krishna after his meeting with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

"There is not going to be any reservoir and as a result of that, the question of diversion or the question of any storage of water does not arise. We also have made verifications on our own," he added.

Ruling out the possibility of water scarcity, Krishna urged both the Governments of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to make full utilization of the water.

"My earnest suggestion to both these state governments of Assam and also to Arunachal Pradesh is that they should go ahead and prepare a necessary project report in order to utilize the Brahmaputra water to the maximum benefit," he said.

Meanwhile, expressing satisfaction over the outcome of the meeting, Gogoi said he is convinced with the government's action.

"We are all, particularly the people of Assam are very much concerned about reported diversion of Brahmaputra by the Chinese giant. It is not a new issue, it has been there for the last three years also and earlier also," said Gogoi.

"I took it up. Today I had a long discussion with the External Affairs Minister Krishna. He has explained in details also that it is not going to affect us. And in fact, he made a statement also, and I am convinced whatever he has explained to me that there will be no shortage of water," he added.

Gogoi had earlier said that he was very concerned about the reports, as any diversion in the course of the river will affect Assam's agricultural economy.

Krishna on Monday had said his ministry was seeking more details from China on these reports.

"We are trying to get more details both from the government and our mission and then depending upon the report that we get, we will be able to make an assessment and then take appropriate diplomatic steps," he added.

The Brahmaputra River, which originates in Tibet and is known as the Tsang-Po there, is the major river that flows through Assam.

According to media reports, China is considering a new plan to divert the Brahmaputra waters from its upper reaches to fight drought conditions in its northwestern territories.


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