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Assam concerned over Chinese move to dam Brahmaputra

By K Anurag
November 06, 2009 21:42 IST
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There is deep concern in Assam over the reported dam being built by the Chinese on the Brahmaputra river, at its source in Tibet. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi directed the state chief secretary to constitute an expert committee headed by Dr Dulal Chandra Goswami, former Professor of Guwahati University, to examine the issues like water availability, hydroelectric potential scenario, flood and related issues such as erosion, sedimentation load, etc in the light of the Chinese decision to divert water from the Brahmaputra.

Besides Goswami as chairman, the committee will comprise Jogendra Nath Sarma, Professor of Dibrugarh University, Anup Kumar Gogoi, Professor IIT, Guwahati, Arup Kumar Sarma, Professor IIT, Guwahati and Dr. Bipul Talukdar, Professor, Assam Engineering College as  its members. The Secretary, Water Resources Department will be the Member Secretary.

The committee will submit its report within three months from the date of issue of the notification. CM Gogoi took up the matter with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal during his recent visit to Delhi.

Several organizations in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have aired grave concern over the reported move by China to construct a dam on the main channel of Brahmaputra in the upper reaches of Tibet, to generate electricity. This move is bound to jeopardize the flow of the Brahmaputra, the lifeline of the Assam valley.

Experts have raised fears that the construction of the dam may trigger devastating flood in Assam during the rainy season and dry up the river in winter.

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K Anurag in Guwahati