Chinese dam will not impact flow of Brahmaputra: Krishna

Krishna

China has said the dam being built by it on river Brahmaputra will have no impact on the downstream flow of the river into India, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

"It is a fact that when I met my Chinese counterpart recently, the question of the hydel project over Brahmaputra river being built by it in Zangmu did come up. However, the Chinese foreign minister assured me that it is a small project which will not have any impact on the river's downstream flow into North-east India," he said during Question Hour.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the answer, opposition BJP demanded a short term discussion on the issue. They were joined by Birendra Prasad Baishya and Kumar Deepak Das (both BJP). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also present in the House.

Das said the dam being built by China is not a small project but a 450 MW hydro-electric project and sought to know from Krishna the status of talks with China over trans-border rivers like Brahmaputra.

To this the minister said, "with reference to trans-border rivers, we have an expert level mechanism to address the issue. A meeting of experts from both India and China is scheduled to take place between April 26-29 in Delhi and the issue will be discussed in it."

He, however, said that as regards China, "there are concerns over the boundary question. It has been our policy that a fair and mutually acceptable solution to this is needed. Our special representative has held 13 meetings with his Chinese counterpart on this and the 14th meeting is scheduled soon".

Krishna said India-China relations are growing despite these concerns.

To another question, he said "there is no disconnect between India-China relations....A beginning was made when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao in Copenhagen and a new beginning was made there when both the nations stood together on common issues".

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