China's ambitious Brahmaputra plan rattles India

Posted By: Biswajeet Panda
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New Delhi, Jun 13: The Sino-Indian relations are heading for another face-off as China is considering to implement a new plan to divert water from river Brahmaputra from the upper reaches to its drought-affected areas.

The announcement has revived the Indian suspicion of Chinese intentions.

It can be recalled that while announcing the construction of a $1.2 billion hydroelectric power station on Yarlung Tsangpo (the Chinese part of river Brahmaputra) in 2010, China had quashed concerns saying that this project will not impact the flow of water to downstream countries like India and Bangladesh.

The project, which was originally meant to supply power to Tibet, has now been reported by the Times of India as being twisted to provide water towards Xinjiang. The report states that unlike the original designs by China, the new plan will slow down the flow of water in Brahmaputra, especially in the lean season.

Meanwhile, the Indian government and the Assam state government have raised concerns over the matter and have vowed to look into the matter in right earnest so as to ensure that India doesn't bear the brunt of this ambitious project.

The Brahmaputra, a river that originates from the Himalayan glaciers is considered as both the lifeline and peril of Assam and Bangladesh. While on one hand farmers in both India and Bangladesh depend heavily on Brahmaputra for irrigation purposes, on the other during the monsoons the river gets flooded and wreaks havoc in the region.

Brahmaputra, which flows in to China too, has for long been the bone of contention in Sino-Indian relations as one country's plans to utilise the water from the river invariably affects the other in one or many adverse ways.

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