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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Govt keeping constant watch on dam constructions by China

November 15, 2010

Economic Times

11 NOV, 2010


NEW DELHI: Government today said it is keeping a "constant watch" on all developments relating to the construction of dams by China on rivers flowing from Tibetan plateau.

"Government is aware of media reports regarding construction of 55 reservoirs on Tibetan rivers in China including Brahmaputra.....government is keeping a constant watch on all developments in this regard," Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H Pala said in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

He was asked whether government's attention has been drawn to a news item that China plans to build 55 reservoirs on rivers flowing from Tibetan plateau.

To a question relating to construction of dams on Tsangpo in China, the minister said, "The matter on the construction of large scale dams on river Yarlung Zangbo, also called Tsango, impacting the flow of water in down stream areas in India has been taken up with the Chinese authority at the highest level."

The Chinese side has "categorically" denied that it is constructing a dam on the the Brahmaputra river for the purpose of water diversion, he said.

The minister informed the Upper House that Chinese Foreign Minister shared information about construction activity at Zangmu hydropower station during the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to Beijing in April this year.

"He (Chinese Foreign Minister) stated that Zangmu is a small project with its main function being generation of power and not water supply. He also stated that the power station will not store and regulate the volume of water and this would not have an adverse impact on the downstream areas," the minister added.

Pala said that if the water from the water resources projects in Tibet is diverted into some other basin in China, it may affect the quantity of flow of water in downstream areas in India during the lean season.

However, if the water is released back in the same river after after generation of electricity, the effects on flows of water downstream may not be significant, he added.

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