Assam Health, Education and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma suspects that China may use ‘water bomb’ against riparian India by opening the gates of water reservoirs.
Mr Sarma has requested the Centre to use satellite imaging to verify reports about China’s plan to construct a 1,000-km tunnel for diverting water from the Brahmaputra river.
Mr Sarma told reporters on Thursday, and added, “India has lot of advance knowledge in satellite imaging and if they are constructing, India satellites will detect that. So let us wait for what government of India says on this.”
The Assam minister raised concerns in light of the rapid and sudden floods occurring in the state despite lack of rainfall.
“China has not shared the hydrological data of Brahmaputra for last one year. Now what is happening in Assam is there are rapid and sudden floods. Initially we thought that it must be water released from any hydroelectric project but during the last floods, we noticed that there has been no rain in Assam or Arunachal Pradesh,” Sarma said.
Sarma further demanded that India should press China to share the hydrological data and if required, go to the international forum for the same.
“The Central Government has assured us that they would take it up with the Chinese Government. We also feel that if they are not willing to give us the data, we should go to some international forum,” Sarma said.
Reports published in the Chinese newspapers said that the engineers there were testing techniques that could be used to build a 1,000-km tunnel – the world’s longest – to carry water from Tibet to Xinjiang by diverting the Yarlung Tsangpo river in southern Tibet to the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang.
Downstream, in India, the river becomes the Brahmaputra, which joins the Ganges in Bangladesh.