China not diverting course of Bramhaputra: Krishna to Gogoi

NEW DELHI: The government has assured Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi that China was not diverting the course of the Bramhaputra. Concerned over the reports that China was building a dam on the bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo (as the Bramhaputra is known in Tibet), a worried Gogoi met with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna in the Capital on Thursday, requesting New Delhi's intervention in the matter.

For Assam, the diversion of the Brahmaputra - which is the state's lifeline - poses a serious problem as it would have an adverse ecological impact on the state. The external affairs minister cited assurances by Beijing and New Delhi's own "verification" to reassure the Assam chief minister that the course of Brahmaputra was not being diverted. Krishna said that activities across the border are being monitored. After the meeting, Gogoi said Krishna told him that China's hydro project "would not have any impact on Assam, either economically or otherwise" . Krishna stressed that there was no cause for worry.

"I have said earlier and would like to repeat it again that we have been monitoring the developments both through our satellite pictures as well as our interactions with the Chinese authorities. The Chinese authorities have conveyed to us that it is going to be a run of the river power project. There is not going to be any reservoir. As a result of that, the question of any diversion or any storage of water does not arise," Krishna said. The minister said the India has independently verified the matter. "We have been monitoring through our satellite pictures as well as in our interaction with Chinese authorities. We have also made verification on our own. It is a fact that China is creating a run of the river power project and the question of any water being impounded is not there," he said.

Krishna asked both Assam and Arunachal Governments to plan projects to properly utilise the Brahmaputra waters. "The question of any water being impounded is not there. So, when this is the case, my earnest suggestion to the governments of Assam as also Arunachal Pradesh is they should go ahead and prepare the necessary project reports in order to utilise the Brahmaputra water for the maximum benefit of the people of the two states," Krishna said.