by Staff Writers
New Delhi (AFP) June 14, 2011
India on Tuesday said an ongoing Chinese project to dam the Brahmaputra river in Tibet would not affect downstream supplies in the country's northeastern regions.
Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna confirmed China was going ahead with the controversial construction of the dam on Yarlung Tsango river, as the Brahmaputra is called in Tibet.
"We have ascertained from our own sources that this is a run of the river hydro-electric project which does not store water and will not adversely impact downstream areas in India," Krishna told reporters in New Delhi.
"I believe there is no cause for immediate alarm," he added. "It is important that states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilise the waters of Brahmaputra. This is a really a very important issue."
The Brahmaputra is a lifeline to some of India's remote, farm-dependent northeastern states.
Some Indian experts have warned the cross-border dam could drain water from the river, which sustains the livelihood of millions of in Assam.
China after launching its construction in November 2010 assured that it took "full consideration of the potential impact on the downstream area".
Media reports have previously suggested the dam would feature six 85-megawatt power-generating units aimed at curbing power shortages in Tibet.
The project -- one of a number to meet soaring demand for water and electricity -- is expected to cost nearly 7.9 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), the reports said.
The dam has also triggered fears over the environmental impact along the river, which starts high up on the Tibetan plateau and flows east and south in a wide arc before flowing into India, Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal.
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Building a better dam map
Washington DC (SPX) Jun 07, 2011
Humans have been building reservoirs and dams for thousands of years. Over the past few decades, their construction has spiked as our need to harness water - critical in flood control, irrigation, recreation, navigation and the creation of hydroelectric power - has grown. And while dams and reservoirs have important benefits, they can also be disruptive and costly to both humans and the environm ... read more
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