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China to divert Brahmaputra, No comments India

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Oct 23: India today remained non-committal on reports that China was planning to divert Brahmaputra, saying the two countries were discussing expansion of cooperation under which Beijing provides hydrological information during the flood season.

''We have understandings with the Chinese side under which they provide hydrological information in respect of Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers during the flood season for flood control and disaster mitigation in downstream areas. We are also discussing with the Chinese side the expansion of this cooperation,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said in response to a question.

Media reports said today that Beijing plans to divert about 200 billion cubic metres of the Brahmaputra river annually to feed the country's northeastern region.

Although, the plan is at discussion level yet, it has alarmed New Delhi which says it could severely impact on India's water volume, the report said.

A senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said the lower reaches of the Yellow River, which feeds China's most important farming region, run dry for at least 200 days every year. Chinese experts have warned that water shortages could make the country dependent on grain imports.

To counter this, China has begun work on its biggest ever construction project to channel billions of cubic metres of water from the Yangtze to the replenish the dwindling Yellow River.

According to the report, China plans to construct a dam at the Shuomatan Point and divert water to the Yellow river.

UNI

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