Allaying apprehensions over construction of three dams by China on the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo in China), Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat on Friday said the “run-of-the-river’’ projects would not impact water flows on the Indian side.

He said the issue had been taken up by India at the highest level. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed it on March 8, on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban. While China maintains that these constructions are run-of-the-river projects, India has sought a joint mechanism and greater transparency from China.

Highlighting some of the major concerns of the government including growing pollution of rivers, drought in Maharashtra and other States, the Minister told journalists here that the new National Water Policy was aimed at dealing with these challenges.

Answering a question on use of huge quantities of water in Maharashtra for maintaining the grounds for IPL matches, Mr. Rawat said the Centre could only advise the State that water was precious and should be used judiciously. To another question on interlinking rivers, he said it was a long-term programme and consent of States was essential.

Indian Water Week

Mr. Rawat said India Water Week would be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee here on April 8.

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