The government allayed apprehensions about the three dams being built by China on the Brahmaputra on Friday, saying the projects will not affect India as most of the water in the river comes from Arunachal Pradesh.
"The issue has been taken up by India at the highest level. Our Prime Minister discussed it with the President of China when they met recently," water resources minister Harish Rawat told reporters. He maintained that the three dams being constructed by China will not affect India's use of the river. "Most of the water to the Brahmaputra comes from Arunachal Pradesh and other places," Rawat said.
He was speaking at a press conference held to announce the commencement of India Water Week from April 8-12.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Xi Jinping had discussed the issue on March 8 on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Durban. While China maintains these constructions are run of the river projects, India has emphasised that there should be prior confabulations to build greater confidence.
The India Water Week will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on April 8. Around 1,758 registrations from 64 countries have been made so far for the conclave. Around 200 papers are likely to be presented at the five-day meet.
Rawat highlighted some of the major concerns of his ministry including growing pollution of rivers, drought in Maharashtra and other states, and sharing of water between states. He said National Water Policy-2012 is aimed at dealing with these challenges.
Asked about the controversy over use of huge quantities of water for maintaining the grounds for IPL matches in drought-hit Maharashtra, Rawat said this issues comes under state jurisdiction. "We can only advise the states that water is precious and should be used judiciously," he said.