AAPSU urges Centre to initiate water treaty with China
Union concerned over media report on hydropower project plan
GUWAHATI: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has expressed concern over a Chinese media report stating China’s plan to build a major hydropower project on the Brahmaputra in Tibet from next year.
The students’ union has urged the Centre to initiate a water treaty with China keeping in view the large scale impact such a move might have on Arunachal Pradesh.
“We must remember that this is not only about Siang/Brahmaputra but about all the rivers originating from China and flowing into India. Government of India should also take up the cause of our people in all international forums,” AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said.
The union reiterated its demand for strongly taking up the Siang/Brahmaputra river issue with the Chinese government so that the lives and ecology of the people living in the downstream areas are not threatened.
“Since the last many years, there have been apprehensions about massive activities going on across the border and the AAPSU has been constantly raising this matter with both the state government and the Union government,” the students union said in a statement.
During a joint meeting between the then Union home minister Rajnath Singh and North East Students Organisation (NESO) in 2018, AAPSU had voiced strong opposition to activities by the Chinese in the Siang River and had also urged the Union government to take up the issue with China.
“The project proposed by the Chinese, if materialised, shall wreak havoc on the people living in the lower riparian states like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and even Bangladesh. The project also poses serious threat to ecology of the region,” the statement said.
“We would remind both the state and Union governments that back in October 2018, there was drying up of the Siang River and unprecedented water surge the very next day bringing down along with it several floating barrels bearing Chinese insignia of isocyanate, which is an explosive mainly used in heavy construction sites,” it said.
“However, time and again, our concerns were downplayed by the Union government citing natural calamities, formation of artificial lakes and numerous other reasons. But the recent report coming in from the state-run Chinese media (Global Times) has vindicated our repeated concerns of activities across the border,” the statement added.