Thousands launch protest against Chinese bid

GUWAHATI, Jan 7 – Raising serious concern over the alleged Chinese design to divert the course of the Brahmaputra, thousands of people took to the street today under the banner of Jana Jagriti, an NGO that has claimed that the neignbouring country has a diabolic design that would leave North East India parched. China has planned diversion of almost 70-80 per cent of the Brahmaputra water, alleged the NGO.

A procession taken out by several thousand people converged near the Raj Bhawan. The NGO submitted a memorandum to the Governor demanding that the Government of India must take immediate action to stop construction of dams, water reservoirs, power projects etc. in the Chinese part of the mighty river.

January 26 has been set as the deadline for the government to take action on this issue, failing which the NGO would start a vigorous movement to save the Brahmaputra, in all parts of the State.

President of the NGO, Ashokanand Singhal also submitted the data which claim that China has already constructed two reservoirs of 42 million cubic meters at Great Bend area, which is 60-70 kilometers away from Gorging village of Arunachal Pradesh – the point from where Brahmaputra enters India. The data available with him also claims that this water storage facility is a part of a huge power project.

“For the people of Assam, Brahmaputra is not just a river but it is a strong uniting force, based on which our economy, society and culture have developed. People of the State would never tolerate Brahmaputra’s degeneration,” he said.

“Till date, the government has not reacted to any of our demands. The issue was not raised during the Chinese Premier’s visit to the country. The Government of Assam has also not yet made public the data related to water received at the Brahmaputra’s entry point,” he added.

“I did not expect such a huge turn out in today’s rally. But this is a warning to both the Union and the State Governments that if immediate steps are not taken to save the Brahmaputra, the entire State would join us in our movement,” he added.