Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Brahmaputra is still flowing

A couple of months back, I termed as 'rubbish' the news that the Brahmaputra had dried up because of a presumed Chinese diversion: "The truth will only be known after an in-depth inquiry, but the suggestion that the Yarlung Tsangpo could have been diverted is utter rubbish. Such pharaonic project would take more than a decade to complete and would be seen through satellite imagery."
I am happy that the issue has now been clarified in the Parliament.   
Diversion is not an easy undertaking and if it ever happen, it will take a long long time to complete.

No evidence that Brahmaputra had dried up in Arunachal: Govt
Monday, May 14, 2012,
New Delhi: Government on Monday dismissed reports that Brahmaputra river in Arunachal Pradesh has dried up and said that its average monthly flow has been better than the previous years.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H Pala said, "There is no evidence that Brahmaputra river had dried up in the state recently. Central Water Commission (CWC) maintains river water level and discharge data at Tuting in Upper Siang district near the border to the Tibet Autonomous Region, China."
He was asked whether the Arunachal Pradesh government has expressed its apprehension that China had diverted water of Brahmaputra river which had dried up in the state recently.
"The analysis of Siang River flows at Tuting undertaken by CWC for January and February months of preceding years (2007-2011) shows that the average monthly flows in Jan/Feb 2012 are at least 50 to 100 per cent higher than the corresponding average monthly flows during the previous years," Pala said.
He added that the government keeps a constant watch on all developments in the region having bearing on India's interest and takes necessary measures to protect them.
"In Oct 2011, Vice Minister of Chinese Ministry of Water Resources also stated that the Chinese government has no plans to conduct any diversification project of Yarlung Zangbo/ Brahmputra River," Pala said.
Government has ascertained that construction activity on Brahmputra river at Zangmu on Chinese side is Run of the River hydro electric project, which does not store water and will not adversely impact the downstream areas in India, he said.

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