China allays fears over Zangmu dam

April 22, 2010 07:35 pm | Updated 11:04 pm IST - NEW DELHI

China has assured India that the dam it is building at Zangmu will have no impact on the water downstream of the Brahmaputra river in India, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna informed Parliament on Thursday.

Replying to Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) during question hour, Mr. Krishna said: “When I met my Chinese counterpart recently in Beijing, the question of the hydel project over Brahmaputra river being built by it in Zangmu did come up. 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.''

Dissatisfied with the answer, the Opposition BJP demanded a short-term discussion on the issue.

Kumar Deepak Das (BJP) said the dam was not a small project. It was a 450 MW hydro-electric project. He demanded to know the status of the talks with China over trans-border rivers such as the Brahmaputra.

“With reference to trans-border rivers,” Mr. Krishna said, “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 and 29 in Delhi.''

On the issue of the boundary dispute with China, he said: “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 and the 14th is scheduled soon.''

Mr. Krishna said India-China relations were growing despite these concerns. 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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