Arunachal Pradesh: Proposal By The Centre To Construct Barrage On Siang To Defend Against Chinese Dam, Says CM Pema Khandu

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Posted in Arunachal Pradesh, Featured, Northeast
NET Web Desk

Addressing the Assembly on Wednesday, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu informed about the Centre’s proposal to construct a large barrage on the Siang River in the state to keep it “alive” given the potential threats from a huge dam on Yarlung Tsangpo river (upstream of Siang) being built by China in neighbouring Tibet region.

China decided to build the 60,000 MW dam on the river in the Tibet region in its 14th five-year plan, as informed by the CM during a zero-hour discussion initiated by Congress member Lombo Tayeng.

Moreover, talking about China’s mega-dam project, Khandu talked about the repercussions of the dam that will potentially have a cascading effect on India and Bangladesh.

He further informed the Assembly about holding several rounds of discussions at the Government level and with the Brahmaputra Board on the looming threats from the Chinese project.

“We have to keep Siang alive. If there is the diversion of water (by China), the dimension of Siang will be reduced, or if water comes in large volumes, it will create massive floods in the Siang valley and downstream areas in neighbouring Assam and Bangladesh. In case of release of excessive water, we need to have big structures to protect ourselves from floods.” He also informed about the Centre’s concern regarding the position of the Siang River once the Chinese project is completed.

The CM further assured about his visit to Siang Valley on Thursday requesting the villagers to cooperate and allow the survey and investigation work for the proposed barrage.

“Once the survey is completed, the Centre can give us a clear picture of the matter. We are worried about the project’s impact in the future. Accordingly, a high-level meeting of the Brahmaputra Board was convened recently. The Centre has proposed a barrage on the Siang River so that Chinese activities do not affect the river,” he added.

Tayeng during the discussion pointed out about Siang River frequently changing its course due to massive land erosion of a few lakh hectares of cultivated land, and reducing the area of the D Ering wildlife sanctuary. He added, “Since there is a possible involvement of China in blocking and diverting of water, dumping of construction material in the river and unwarranted release of water in the upstream in their territory if the phenomenon of recurring floods in Siang Valley is not declared a national calamity and adequate measures are not taken, it may be disastrous in near future”.

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