All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) has expressed serious concern over a news report that China would build a major hydropower project on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet under its 14th Five-Year Plan.
The plan is, as per the report, is scheduled to be implemented from next year.
“For many years, there were apprehensions of some massive activities being carried out across the border and the AAPSU has been constantly raising this matter with both the state and Central government,” the AAPSU said.
“During a joint meeting between the then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at New Delhi in 2018, the union had strongly voiced its opposition to any activities by the Chinese in the Siang River. It had also urged the Union Government to take up the matter with China,” it added.
The project proposed by the Chinese, if materialized, shall wreak havoc on the people living in the lower riparian states like Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and even Bangladesh.
The project also poses a serious threat to the ecology of the region, it said.
The AAPSU said back in October 2018, the Siang River was drying up, and then there was an unprecedented water surge later bringing down along with it several floating barrels bearing Chinese insignia of isocyanate (C6 H9 O2 N2), an explosive mainly used in heavy construction sites.
“Time and again our concerns were downplayed by the Union Government citing natural calamities, formation of artificial lakes and numerous other reasons,” it said.
“But the recent report coming in from the state-run Chinese media has vindicated our repeated concerns of activities across the border, the AAPSU said while reiterating its demand for strongly taking up the issue with the Chinese,” it further said.
This is to ensure that the lives and ecology of the people living downstream are not threatened, the students’ body said.
AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai said the Central government must initiate a water treaty with their Chinese counterpart keeping in view the large-scale impact it will have on the state of 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. The Government of India should also take up the cause of our people in all international forums,” Dai said.