Assam wants treaty on water sharing matters with China

Guwahati, Nov 19 : The Assam government will press the Centre for a treaty on water – sharing arrangements with China, especially after confirmed reports of the neighbouring country building mega dams on the Brahmaputra river (Tsangpho river) that could lead to adverse downstream impact in India’s North East.

“There is no water – sharing treaty or any other pact for sharing information on rivers with China at present. The government of Assam will request the Centre to enter into such a pact with China, like the country has with Pakistan,” Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters here today.

Expressing concern at the possible adverse downstream impacts of big dams in China, Mr Gogoi said the state government will take up the matter with the Centre again.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had taken up the issue with the Chinese president when the latter visited India a few years back. We will once again press the Centre to talk to Beijing over the matter,” he said.

He pointed out that China has maintained that there would be no adverse impact on North East India and added that Assam will not accept the contention without a proper, thorough study by its experts.

“The Assam government will conduct a study to understand the downstream effects and we will also urge the Centre to carry out a comprehensive study across the NE region,” Mr Gogoi said. China’s mega dams on the Brahmaputra could have adverse impact on the downstream areas in India’s NE and Bangladesh as the river, which enters Bangladesh through India from China, is a major source of livelihood for the region, intricately linked with the lives and culture of its people.