‘24 new Chinese projects on Brahmaputra’

The latest provocation comes close on the heels of the Chinese Premier`s India visit.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Less than a week after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao left India following a three-day visit, it has come to light that Beijing has taken up 24 new projects along the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries. The projects, detected by the intelligence agencies, are believed to be mostly hydro-power projects, a leading daily reported on Tuesday.

Last year, the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) had stated that the Chinese were building some half-a-dozen hydro-power projects along the Brahmaputra river on their side.

However, the latest discovery is likely to be seen in New Delhi as a provocation, coming close on the heels of Wen’s visit who indicated here that the vexed boundary dispute between India and China was expected to linger for long.

The development also came just days after China’s official Xinhua news agency described the operational border between the two countries as some 2,000 km long, compared to 3,600 kms identified by India. The Chinese assertion literally knocked off the 1,600 km-long border that China shares with the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the daily, intelligence agencies believe the 24 new projects are relatively small compared to the Zangmu project, which is the biggest taken up by China on its side of the Brahmaputra.

Reports said the issue also came up for discussion yesterday at a meeting of the Committee of Secretaries looking into the diversion of Brahmaputra waters, under Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar. Officials at the meeting said there was a need to constantly monitor the situation.

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