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China’s mega power project on Siang River to have cascading effect on India, B’desh: Arunachal CM

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ITANAGAR, Sept 6: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema
Khandu on Wednesday expressed concern over China’s
proposed mega hydropower project on the upstream of Siang
River in Tibet, stating it will have a cascading effect on India and
Bangladesh in the near future.
During a zero-hour discussion in the state assembly, initiated by
Congress MLA Lombo Tayeng seeking a declaration of recurring
annual floods in Siang Valley as a natural calamity, Khandu said
China has proposed a 60,000 MW hydro-power plant on the
river, called Tsangpo in Tibet, in its 14th five-year plan.
"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
Siang River so that Chinese activities do not affect the river," he
said.
Khandu said a survey for the proposed barrage will be carried
out, and once it is completed, the Centre will decide on the
next step.
Tayeng, while initiating the discussion, pointed out that the
Siang River is frequently changing its course causing massive

land erosion of a few lakh hectares of cultivated land, and
reducing the area of the D Ering wildlife sanctuary.
”Since there is a possible involvement of China in blocking and
diverting of water, dumping of construction material in the
river and unwarranted releasing 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 taken, it may be disastrous in near future,” Tayeng
said.
Khandu, in response, informed the assembly that there is no
provision, executive or legal, to declare a recurring natural
calamity as a national calamity.
The existing guidelines of the State Disaster Response Fund
(SDRF) and National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) do not
contemplate declaring a disaster as a national calamity.
"There is also no mention of national calamity in Disaster
Management Act 2005," the chief minister added.
He said in case of any major disaster, an inter-ministerial
central team visits the affected areas and on the basis of their
recommendation and report, the National Disaster
Management Authority (NDMA) allocates additional funds to
the state from the NDRF.

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At least three districts of the state – Siang, Upper Siang and
East Siang – through which the river passes before entering
Assam, where the river is known as Brahmaputra, experiences
annual floods during the monsoon.
He said a proposal for erosion control and flood management in
the left bank of the Siang River in the Mebo sub-division of East
Siang district was submitted by the Arunachal Pradesh
government to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry.
The ministry asked the state administration in May this year to
resubmit the proposal in an integrated manner by adopting a
basin or sub-basin approach covering the major length of the
rivers and their tributaries instead of proposing separate works
in selected or arbitrary reaches, he added. (PTI)

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