BJP demands White Paper on Arunachal dams

NEW DELHI, Aug 12 – The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today demanded a ‘White Paper’ on ongoing power projects in Arunachal Pradesh and impact of the dams downstream in Assam. Raising the issue of construction of dams upstream and China’s bid to divert the Brahmaputra river, in the Lok Sabha though a notice under Rule 377, Ramen Deka pointed out that Assam is geologically and seismologically sensitive area. He said the people were anxious to know about the effect of the dams constructed in Arunachal Pradesh on the State. “People have no idea as to how many power projects are constructed in the region. The dams constructed upstream of Brahmaputra would definitely bear impact on the lower stream of the river. China is also trying to divert the water at the Great Bend, the upstream of Brahmaputra,” he said. He urged Government to come with a White Paper on ongoing power projects in Arunachal Pradesh and steps taken to safeguard Assam. The Government should take up the matter with China on priority. Meanwhile, in a Rajya Sabha reply, Minister of State for External Affairs, E Ahmed said that Government of India is aware of the construction activity at Zangmu, on the main Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra river) in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. The Chinese Premier said that the country’s development of upstream areas would be on the basis of scientific planning and study and would never harm downstream interests. The Government has ascertained that this is a run-of-the-river hydropower project, which does not store water and would not adversely impact the downstream areas in India, the Minister said. A large proportion of the catchment of the Brahmaputra is within Indian Territory. It is important that Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilize the water of the river, Ahmed suggested.