RS agency spots China’s dam on Brahmaputra

Remote Sensing has confirmed that China is constructing a dam on its side of the Brahmputra River.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) has confirmed that China is constructing a dam on its side of the Brahmputra River, reports claimed on Wednesday.

In a presentation made before the Committee of Secretaries (CoS), the NRSA presented concrete evidence suggesting construction activities, movements of trucks, and excavations being carried out in and around the Zangmu site.

As per a newspaper report, the CoS, after examining the facts and evidence, decided to take up the case with the External Affairs Ministry considering the sensitive nature of the input.

The meeting was also attended by the RAW chief, representatives of Environment, Water, Power and External Affairs Ministry, which collectively decided to step up monitoring of the alleged construction works on the Chinese side of Brahmputra River.
Although China’s claims to building the dam to meet acute water shortages, the findings of NRSA has given credence to New Delhi’s concerns that lower riparian countries like India and Bangladesh would be at China’s mercy during the dry spell and for protection from floods during the rainy season.

The development comes nearly a month after reports claimed that China has started constructing a huge dam on its side of the Brahmputra River – known as Tsangpo River in Tibet.

The dam is being constructed at a place called Namcha Barwa on the eastern plateau of Tibet. It is at this point in Tibet that China is reportedly building the world`s largest dam, with 26 turbines, expected to generate 40 million kilowatts per hour of hydroelectricity.

There is sufficient evidence to suggest that the Zangmu hydroelectrical project was inaugurated on March 16 this year and the first concrete was poured on April 2.

A consortium of five top Chinese power companies is overseeing the 1.138 bn Yuan project.
The Tsangpo makes a steep drop here which makes the site crucial for the construction of a huge dam. It is said that the power output could be twice the output of the famous Three Gorges Dam over the Yangtse.

River Brahmaputra is very important for India and Bangladesh. The Brahmaputra River basin in India is most generously gifted with a fabulous water wealth that accounts for nearly 30% of the total water resources and about 40% of the total hydropower potential of the country.

For Bangladesh, the River is even more crucial as it provides for fresh water and the annual gift of the fertile silt for farming.

However, the Chinese government had then categorically dismissed claims that Beijing plans to divert the Brahmaputra River that flows from Tibet into India.

China`s Minister for Water Resources, Wang Shucheng, then said the proposal was "unnecessary, unfeasible and unscientific," and had no government backing.

Wang`s comments appeared to be part of an official effort to quell Indian fears that China has designs on the river water.

Offering their support to the project, some Chinese engineers have reportedly suggested that the dam could provide cheap electricity for India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and that the dam could facilitate flood control in the Brahmaputra-Ganges basin.

However, it is also believed that the diverted water from the river would irrigate the northwestern part of China`s Gobi desert in Xinjiang and Gansu, up to 400 miles away, and refill the dying Yellow River, which now runs dry for much of the year.

Zee News App: Read latest news of India and world, bollywood news, business updates, cricket scores, etc. Download the Zee news app now to keep up with daily breaking news and live news event coverage.