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Arunachal protests China dam move

Itanagar, May 13: Arunachal Pradesh PWD minister Nabam Tuki today said the state government strongly protested China’s move to construct a dam over the Brahmaputra, known as the Tsangpo in China, as it could create a drought-like situation in the Northeast.

“China’s plan to construct a dam over the Tsangpo could spell danger for the Northeast. Once the project comes up, waterways are likely to be diverted, creating a drought-like situation. The state government takes it seriously and strongly protests the move,” Tuki told reporters at a news conference in Itanagar today.

He added that there were apprehensions that flash floods, which submerged vast swathes of land and wreaked havoc in East Siang district, killing several people and damaging property in 2000, took place because of China’s diversion of water.

The Centre recently formed a water resource commission, which was instructed to submit its report after assessing the possibilities of river diversion. However, the state government is not willing to wait until the report is submitted, as it cannot wait to see the rivers dry up.

The state government expressed its apprehension to the Centre over China’s plan to construct the 500-MW hydel project.

Though China tried to convince India that the project would not have any impact on downstream areas, the Arunachal government felt that it could spell danger, the PWD minister added.

He admitted that the state government could not prepare an annual operational plan last year because of various factors but the government would prepare one this year.

The progress of the Trans-Arunachal Highway to connect all the district headquarters was satisfactory and would be completed within 2013, the minister said.

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