India has consistently conveyed its concerns over the Brahmaputra river to China and urged the country to ensure that interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in the upstream areas, the government informed the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Minister of State for Water Resources and River Development Arjun Ram Meghwal was replying to a question on whether the water of Brahmaputra was being diverted towards Xinjiang province by construction of a 1,000 km tunnel by China.
“As per the information provided by MEA, government has seen media reports in this regard. The government has also noted that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a public statement rejected such media reports as untrue,” he said in a written response.
“As a lower riparian State with considerable established user rights to the waters of the trans-border rivers, the government has consistently conveyed its views and concerns to the Chinese authorities, including at the highest levels, and has urged them to ensure that the interests of downstream States are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas,” Meghwal said.
He said the Chinese side has conveyed to India on several occasions that they are only undertaking run-of the-river hydropower projects, which do not involve diversion of water of the Brahmaputra .
Various issues relating to trans-border rivers, including construction of hydro-power dams, are discussed with China under the ambit of an institutionalised expert level mechanism which was established in 2006, he said.