Brahmaputra dam not aimed against India: China

China is building the dam in Brahmaputra for the first time in order to begin the main construction work on a 510 MW hydropower station project.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2010, 00:01 AM IST

Beijing: With China building a huge USD 1.2 billion dam over Brahmaputra river in Tibet, it assured New Delhi that the project was not aimed at diverting the river waters to affect the flow to India and other lower riparian countries.

The issue of the dam figured high in the fourth round of the India-China strategic dialogue held between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun here.

"The Brahmaputra dam issue was raised by me. I was reassured by Vice Minister that it was not a project designed to divert the water and affect the welfare and availability of water to the countries in the lower reaches," Rao told Indian media after her four-and-a-half hour talks.

"It is a power project. It is not going affect people in lower reaches. China is cooperating with India on hydrological data which is going on since 2003. The Chinese Minister said China would continue to do so," she said.

Four experts-level talks have been held to exchange provisions of hydrological data and flood management.

India was told about the dam initially during the visit of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna here in April this year.

China is building the dam in Brahmaputra for the first time in order to begin the main construction work on a 510 MW hydropower station project.

The river was dammed on November 12 to help in the construction of the Zangmu Hydropower Station project in the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra river in Gyaca County of Lhoka Prefecture in Tibet Autonomous Region, according to `Tibet Online` of the state-run People`s Daily.

The station will have six 85-megawatt generating units, which will bring the total installed capacity to 510 megawatts.

It will be the first large hydropower station in Tibet and its first unit will be put into operation in 2014, which will greatly alleviate the power shortage in central Tibet.

The hydropower station is about 325 kilometres away from the Tibetan capital Lhasa and its average annual generating capacity is expected to reach 2.5 billion kilowatt hours.

Its main function is power generation, but it can also be used for flood control and irrigation, the report said.

PTI