China approves three more dams on Brahmaputra river
New Delhi: In news that is bound to raise eyebrows in India, China has approved three new hydropower dams on the mighty Brahmaputra river. The go-ahead ends a two-year hiatus during which Beijing refrained from approving any new projects.
The three new dams would be constructed on the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra, as part of a new energy development plan for 2015 that was unveiled on January 23, reported a leading national daily.
The dams were given the go-ahead by China’s State Council, or Cabinet, amid concerns from India and environmental groups.
The daily reported that construction is currently underway on one major dam on the main stream of the middle reaches of the Brahmaputra river, which is known in China as Yarlung Zangbo. The construction on the 510 MW hydropower project in Zangmu in the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) had started in 2010.
Among the three new projects approved, one is even bigger than the Zangmu project.
The daily reported that a 640 MW dam will come up in Dagu, 18 km upstream of Zangmu. A 320 MW dam will be constructed at Jiacha, which is downstream of Zangmu. The third dam will be built at Jiexu, 11 km upstream of Zangmu.