No immediate alarm on China dam on Brahmaputra: India

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New Delhi, June 14: India today (June 14) downplayed apprehensions that a dam being constructed by China on river Brahmaputra will affect the country, saying the project is not a cause for "immediate alarm".

"It is a fact that China is constructing a dam at Zangmu in middle reaches of Yarlung Tsango (as Brahmaputra is called in Tibet). We have ascertained from our own sources that this a run of the river hydro-electric project which does not store water and will not adversely impact downstream areas in India," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.

"Therefore, I believe there is no cause for immediate alarm," he told reporters while replying to a question on reports of construction of a dam by China on Brahmaputra River.

Krishna also said that recent reports about Chinese plans to construct a dam on the Brahmaputra and possibly divert the river waters to Northern China are "not new but based on previously known facts".

Noting that a large portion of the catchment area of Brahmaputra is within Indian territory, Krishna said, "It is important that states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilise the waters of Brahmaputra.

This is a really a very important issue." Krishna, who left for Kazakhstan today to attend the Sanghai Cooperation Organisation summit, said he was not sure whether bilateral issues between India and China would be raised there. 

"But nonetheless, let me assure my countrymen that India is very closely monitoring all the movements and as I said it is for Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to utilise the full potential of Brahmaputra water," Krishna said.

On some Arunachal ministers raising fears about a Kargil-like situation in the state, he asserted that India's defence capabilities were second to none in defending the borders.

"I think the security, the defence of our borders is being constantly monitored, not only by the Ministry of Defence but by other agencies. It is our conviction that India's defence capabilities are second to none in defending our border," he said.


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