China builds three dams over Tibet’s Brahmaputra

While India’s ruling combine and opposition quibble,  Bangladesh is busy dousing internal riots, and the media add to the cacophony, China is busy constructing three dams over the Brahmaputra. Hello? 

BEIJING, China— Come October and  China’s largest-ever Tibetan water control project will begin operations, Qiu Zhixing, a project director in charge of construction announced recently. The Indian media have been so consumed with ‘political’ stories that little attention has been paid to how this will affect the water issues of  Northeast India.water 10

The Pondo Water Control Project is located on the Lhasa River, a tributary of the trans-boundary Brahmaputra River, in Lhunzhub County. Its massive size has led to it being called “Tibet’s Three Gorges Dam.”

Construction on the project began in 2008. It includes a reservoir that will irrigate 43,520 hectares of farmland and a hydropower plant that generates 599 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. It cost an estimated $728 million USD.

Earlier this year, it was reported that China had approved construction of three more hydropower projects along the Brahmaputra River in the Autonomous Tibetan region. The approval was part of China’s updated five-year development blueprint.

Controversial  Dams?

The new dams on the Brahmaputra have been controversial due to the lack of Indian input. The river passes through the Chinese-controlled Tibetan region and flows to its delta through India.

Indian officials said they were only made aware of the planned dam projects because they were published in China’s 12th five-year plan.

The document did not contain any details of the dams that are to be built at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu, the Indian government said.

However, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Let told a media briefing that “China has always taken a responsible attitude towards the development of cross border rivers.”

“Any new project has to go through scientific planning and study with consideration of the interests of lower and upper stream countries,” he said. Asked about whether the plans had been approved, and if lower riparian states India and Bangladesh had been informed, Hong said he needed to obtain “specific information” before he could respond.

China and India have had several meetings in recent years over shared rivers. Since China is the upstream country, it has consistently assured New Delhi that it will not do anything to negatively affect water flows into India.


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Posted by on March 22, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,Tibet. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to China builds three dams over Tibet’s Brahmaputra

  1. Pingback: China says Tibet hydro-projects won’t hurt India | NewsnetEAST

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