Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brahmaputra Course : Dhaka To Play Diplomacy Card With China

The Chinese government's plan to divert the course of Brahmaputra river to the dry region of Xinxiang will be tackled diplomatically, the water resources minister has said. Ramesh Chandra Sen on Thursday told bdnews24. com that some steps were taken in this regard. Ministry sources said China last year announced to build a massive dam on Yarlung Tsangpo river, the first major dam in Tibet, with a view to setting up the world's biggest hydro-electric power plant having 510 MW capacity. He said the plant would be constructed on the upper reaches of Brahmaputra and would not divert the river's course causing possible downstream impact on India or Bangladesh. But China began damming the Tsangpo's flow in November 8 last year which raised concerns about a possible impact for the downstream people. Originating from the southwestern Tibet as the Yarlung Tsangpo river, Brahmaputra is nearly 1 ,800 miles (2 ,900 km) long. It flows through Arunachal Pradesh in the southwest of the Assam valley of India as Brahmaputra and in Bangladesh, Jamuna is its main branch. Sen said that foreign minister Dipu Moni, who is now in China on a state visit, would discuss the matter of change in the course of the river with the Chinese government. Dipu is accompanied by water resources state minister Mahbubur Rahman Talukder and a joint secretary. The foreign minister would also visit different rivers, dams and would accumulate knowledge about their cost and know-how, Sen added.