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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

India taking up China dam issue: Arunachal minister

August 13, 2010

Sify
August 11, 2010

India is negotiating with the international
community over China's plans to construct a dam
across the Brahmaputra in Tibet, Arunachal
Pradesh Power Minister Jabron Gamlin said here Wednesday.

'The Indian government is taking up the matter
with the international community and also with
the Chinese government to guarantee that the dam
does not affect the river's flow downstream (into India),' Gamlin said.

China plans to build a $167 million hydropower
plant in Zangmu, 140 km southeast of Tibet's
capital Lhasa, besides diverting water to its
parched northwest and northeast territories, which includes the Gobi desert.

The 2,906-km-long Brahmaputra is one of Asia's
longest rivers that traverses its first stretch
of 1,625 km in Tibet, the next 918 km in India
and the remaining 363 km in Bangladesh before flowing into the Bay of Bengal.

'China's constructing a dam is a cause of concern
for us, but we are not certain how big this dam
is and what affect it would have on people living
downstream,' Gamlim told IANS on the sidelines of
the two-day North East Power Minister's meet here.

China's plans of building a dam over the
Brahmaputra river and diverting water into its
arid provinces has been opposed by regional governments in India's northeast.

Experts say the Zangmu dam is a 'run of the
river' power generation project and is of no
cause for alarm as it would not divert the river's course.

Other experts say that if that project is
commissioned it would almost certainly have
devastating consequences on the lives of millions
of people living in India and Bangladesh.

Agriculture forms the backbone of the economy in
both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with nearly 80
percent of the 27 million people in the two
states eking out a living through farming, an agriculture scientist said.

But, with China not sharing much information
about the dam, it's not certain how big it is.

Apart from the dam, China is reportedly planning
to divert 200 billion cubic metres of water to
feed the Yellow River in an attempt to ease the
acute water shortage in Shaanxi, Hebel, Beijing
and Tianjin. The 'South-to-North Water Diversion'
project is currently being debated in Beijing for
its technical feasibility, reports say.

India and China do not have a water-sharing
agreement. Until recently, water sharing was
never on the agenda of bilateral talks between the two countries.
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