China’a commissioning of the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station on the Brahmaputra — Yarlung Zangpo in Tibet — will cause irreparable damage to Assam and other parts of the river’s basin, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said here on Wednesday. He also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking up the matter seriously despite repeated pleas.
Gogoi also described it as the outcome of New Delhi’s “utter failure” at the highest diplomatic level. “It is an utter failure at the highest diplomatic level to prevail upon China not to go ahead with the construction plan. What purpose will it serve if the bonhomie and camaraderie generated by talks could not be translated into concrete actions vis-a-vis protecting India’s interests,” he said in a statement.
“I had pleaded with the Prime Minister to take up the issue with the President of China during his visit to that country. However, I have serious doubts whether he took up the matter at all. The PM did not take up the matter seriously which is of importance to the people of Assam and the Northeast,” he said.
He also said the fact that China had built dams on the Brahmaputra had caught the Centre unaware. “This itself is a clear indication of Centre’s casual approach,” he added.