China’s Dam dammned by Northeastern India

GUWAHATI: Will dams across the Brahmaputra turn Northeast India into a desert?

Various organisations  protested against reported completion of a major hydropower dam by China on the Brahmaputra, called Yarlung Zangbo in Tibet, as it is likely to affect the Northeast. They demanded that the project be ‘de-commissioned’ and called for the Brahmaputra-Tsangpo river to be a neutral river zone.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said Tibet’s largest hydropower station became partly operational yesterday, harnessing the rich water resources of the Yarlung Tsangpo river.

It said the first generating unit of the $1.5-billion Zangmu hydropower station, positioned over 3,300 meters above sea level in Tibet, went into operation yesterday with five other generating units due for completion no later than next year.

“The huge project, which straddles the middle reaches of the roaring Yarlung Tsangpo, will have a total installed capacity of 510,000kW upon completion. It is designed to generate 2.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually,” the news agency said.

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) has threatened to gherao the Chinese embassy if steps are not taken by the Centre to decommission the dam immediately.

“The Centre should immediately take up the issue to decommission the dam (put in moratorium). Otherwise, the KMSS will gherao the office of Chinese embassy in New Delhi. Besides, the Brahmaputra from China to Bangladesh should be announced as a neutral river zone where nobody can construct a dam,” said Akhil Gogoi, president of the Samiti.

The KMSS has been organising sustained protests against construction of big dams on the Brahmaputra and other rivers in Arunachal Pradesh because of probable ecological impact of such constructions.

The Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), another influential organisation, said the development is an outcome of the Centre’s negligence towards Assam or the Northeast and demanded Centre’s steps on the issue.

“It has taken place because of the Centre’s neglect of Assam or the Northeast. The present government has also failed to take any step in this regard. The Centre now should take an initiative to resolve the issue. Besides, the South-North Water Diversion Project of China is a threat not only for the Northeast but also the country. It will turn a large part of the country into a desert,” said AJYCP leader Manoj Baruah.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya, also against construction of dams by China on the Brahmaputra, said they would react on the development later.

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Posted by on November 25, 2014. Filed under Breaking News,China. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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