• Saturday, Jan 16, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:00 am

India irked as China to build dam on Brahmaputra

  • Published at 06:14 pm November 30th, 2020
Brahmaputra River
File photo: Fishermen paddle their boat in the waters of Brahmaputra River after selling their catch at a market during sunset, in Guwahati on November 7, 2020 AFP

The project is expected to be implemented as part of Beijing's 14th Five-Year Plan, India’s Times Now quoted Chinese media as saying

China is moving ahead with plans to build a huge hydropower project on the Yarlung Zangbo River, the upper stream of the Brahmaputra River, in Tibet which likely to have an impact on lower riparian India and Bangladesh. 

The project is expected to be implemented as part of Beijing's 14th Five-Year Plan, India’s Times Now quoted Chinese media as saying.

The proposal has sparked concern in lower riparian India as much of the plains of the Brahmaputra flow through the south Asian nation.  

When the dam is built, upper reaches of the reservoir may not be affected very much as the original riverine conditions are still retained. Downstream of the dam, the flow rate in the river will depend on the amount of the compensation flow. 

Water volume is considerably reduced during the dry season. As a result the downstream may change to pools alternating with dry stretches for about nine months from November to June. 

Due to decreased water discharges, water temperature will rise in daytime and decline sharply at night. Rooted plants will grow in the riverbed due to the decrease in water volume.

It is believed that Brahmaputra-dependent people can face various problems. However, Beijing has downplayed such fears.

“The hydropower exploitation of the Yarlung Zangbo River downstream is more than a hydropower project. It is also meaningful for the environment, national security, living standards, energy and international cooperation,” said Yan Zhiyong, the chairman of Power Construction Corp of China, tasked with the construction of the project, according to Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times.

China has already operationalized the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet in 2015. 

About the new dam, the Global Times report said that speculation about China planning to build a "super hydropower station" in Medog county, where the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon is located, have circulated for years. 

Medog is the last county in Tibet which borders Arunachal Pradesh.

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