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China to build a major dam on Brahmaputra river soon

The proposal was put forward in China’s 14th Five-Year Plan to be implemented from next year

China to build a major dam on Brahmaputra river soon

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Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 Nov 2020 5:04 PM GMT

Beijing: China will build a major hydropower project on Brahmaputra river in Tibet said Yan Zhiyong, Chairman of the Power Construction Corp of China on Sunday.

The proposal has been put forward in the 14th Five-Year Plan to be implemented from next year "in the downstream of the Yarlung Zangbo River" (the Tibetan name for the Brahmaputra).

Zhiyong said that the project was clearly put forward in the proposals for formulating the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and its long term goals through 2035 made by the Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

"There is no parallel in history…it will be a historic opportunity for the Chinese hydropower industry," Yan mentioned in a statement at the conference organised to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering.

The 14th Five-Year Plan and National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035 was adopted by Plenum- a key policy body of the CPC, last month.

However, the proposals for dams on the Brahmaputra have raised concerns in India and Bangladesh.

As a lower riparian State with considerable established user rights to the water of the trans-border rivers, the Indian government has consistently conveyed its opinions to the Chinese authorities and urged them to ensure that the interests of the downstream states are not tampered by any activities in the upstream areas.

China has already operationalised the $1.5 billion Dam Hydropower Station.

While addressing the conference, Yan also said that the hydropower exploitation of the Yarlung Zangbo River downstream is more than just a project.

It is going to be profitable for the environment, national security, living standards, energy and international cooperation.

The mainstream of Yarlung Zangbo River has the richest water resources in Tibet Autonomous Region, about 80 million kilowatt-hours (kWh), while the 50-kilometre section of the Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon has 70 million kWh which could be developed with a 2,000-meter drop- more than three gorges power station in Hubei province.

India and China established the Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) in 2006 to discuss various issues related to trans-border rivers.

Under existing bilateral Memorandums of Understanding, China provides hydrological information of Brahmaputra River and Sutlej River to India during the flood seasons.

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