New Delhi: With the current dispensation in Delhi, under the leadership of prime minister Manmohan Singh, expressing undying faith in Chinese assurances about exploiting water resources in the occupied territory of Tibet, the Chinese government has now announced it would spend more than $1.8 billion till 2015 on water projects in that region.
The Chinese official media, which quoted Tibet's Water Resources Department, said the money would be spent on 16 categories of water programmes that cover irrigation, drinking water, flood prevention and control and hydropower.
Though official Chinese statements claimed these water projects will enable all Tibetan farmers and herders to get access to clean drinking water and provide access to electricity to more than 90 per cent of the region's rural population, for India, it raises the fear of the diversion of the Brahmaputra river waters.
The government in Delhi said, "The Chinese premier said China's development of upstream areas will be on the basis of scientific planning and study and will never harm downstream interests. Government has ascertained that this is a run-of-the-river hydro-electric project, which does not store water and will not adversely impact the downstream areas in India. A large proportion of the catchment of the Brahmaputra is within Indian territory. It is important that the states of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilize the waters of the Brahmaputra."
An expert-level group has held five meetings since 2007, said MEA in the Parliament answer. "India and China have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Provision of Hydrological Information on Brahmaputra River in Flood Season in 2002 which was renewed in 2008."