New Delhi: India on Monday said it was seeking more details from China on reports that it was planning to divert waters of the Brahmaputra to address the needs of its drought-hit regions.

Speaking to reporters here External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said, "We are trying to get more details both from the government and our mission and then depending upon the report that we get, we will be able to make an assessment and then take appropriate diplomatic steps."

According to official sources, India had discussed the matter with China, which in turn said the projects on the mighty river were small and not affect the flow of the river into India.

"We have been in touch with the Chinese side and the matter has been discussed with them on more than one occasion," the sources said.

They said the Chinese side has been contending that the projects on the Brahmaputra were small, run-of-the-river projects and there would be no diversion of water.

The sources said the government verifies every report on the Brahmaputra issue and have so far found no evidence on any diversion of the course of the river.

"There is nothing to indicate to that effect," they said, when asked whether satellite imageries have found any change in the course of the river in China. Sources said experts from India and China have met on the issue and the two sides have always shared data on the flows of the river.

BJP expresses concern

Meanwhile, BJP demanded that if there is fresh evidence of China's intentions then India should immediately take up this matter with the neighbouring country.

The party’s spokesperson, Prakash Javadekar, said, "These reports are of real concern to India. Since the last two years there are reports that China wants to divert Brahmaputra waters from the Himalayas. If it is diverted we will have terrible environmental, ecological and real problems which will affect the economy of the whole region."

"Government had said it has taken up this issue with the Chinese authorities.... If there is fresh evidence (of China diverting the waters) then we must immediately take up this issue with China," Javadekar, who had raised the issue in Rajya Sabha last year, said.

(Agencies)