India seeking details on Brahmaputra diversion (Lead)

June 13th, 2011 - 11:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) India Monday said details have been sought from its embassy in Beijing about reports that China was considering a new plan to divert the Brahmaputra waters from its upper reaches.

“We are trying to get more details both from the (Chinese) government and from our mission and depending upon the report we get, we will be able to make an assessment and take appropriate steps,” External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told reporters here.

Krishna said he had seen a media report about China’s plans to divert the Brahmaputra waters, but said the question comes up “off and on”.

According to diplomatic sources, experts from the two countries have met on the Brahmaputra issue earlier to share data on the flow of the river.

An official speaking on condition of anonymity said India has been in “constant touch” with China and the matter has been discussed. “They have maintained with us that there was no diversion and no plans as such,” he said.

Reports in the media said China appeared to be considering a new plan to divert the Brahmaputra waters from its upper reaches to fight drought conditions in its northwestern territories.

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said there was need to raise the issue with China.

“These are reports of real concern to India,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

“For last two years, there have been reports that the Chinese government wants to divert the Brahmaputra from where it flows from the Himalayas. If it gets diverted, we will have terrible ecological and other problems which will effect the economy of the whole region,” Javadekar told Times Now channel.

Javadekar said he had raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha, but he was told that the issue had been “taken up with the Chinese authorities and there is no such plan”.

“If that is the position, it is ok. If there is some fresh evidence, we should take it up with the Chinese government with all seriousness,” he added.

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