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Development

Concern Evinced Over China's Move to Divert Brahmaputra

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2003/11/09; November 9, 2003.]

Guwahati, Nov 3 (UNI) Union Water Resources Minister Bijoya Chakravarty has expressed concern over the reported move of China to divert Brahmaputra.

In a statement, Ms Chakravarty said that as China and India were already moving towards solving their bilateral problems step by step, marked by the reciprocity of gestures, the possible problems in the water sharing sector too would be resolved through proactive dialogue.

As part of the recent trend of cooperation, she cited the exchange of information over hydrological data as a good starting point of furthering dialogue and cooperation in water resources sector between India and China.

India may have grand plans to inter-link all major river systems in the country but so does China. They have drawn up their own road map to divert rivers originating in Tibet including the mighty Brahmaputra, putting a question mark on India's plan.

Recognition of Sikkim as part of India and the sudden keenness to improve bilateral relations with India by resolving all contentious issues, including the boundary disputes, may be part of a tactical move by China to divert India's attention or so experts believe. While Indian plan is to complete the project by 2013, China envisages completing its project by 2009.

The issue has been taken so seriously that experts from Bangladesh briefed selective Indian journalists, this week, about the impact of the Chinese project.

The Tibetan Plateau in China is the principal watershed in Asia and the source of 10 major rivers, including the Brahmaputra known as Yarlung or Tsangpo in Tibet, the Sutlej and the Indus.

An estimated 90 per cent of the Tibetan rivers' run off flows downstream to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan.

But for the North Eastern region, the major concern would be the bid to divert Brahmaputra river.


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