China is constructing their “most expensive hydro project” – Lalho project – in a tributary of river Brahmaputra (known in China as Yarlung Zangbo). The Brahmaputra, one of India’s major rivers, originates in Tibet (China) and flows into India (Arunachal Pradesh and Assam) before going into Bangladesh.
- India is commissioning a study to ascertain how much the Yarlung Zangbo, actually contributes to flows in India and how much comes from the catchment area in India itself. Many experts estimate that the Tibet contribution is not more than 40 percent.
- The river’s mean discharge is 25.8 cubic meters per second (cumecs), less than 0.15 per cent of the Brahmaputra’s mean discharge when it enters in India. The reservoir was designed to store upto 295 million cubic meters of water. India is concerned that if the waters are diverted, then projects on the Brahmaputra, particularly the Upper Siang and Lower Suhansri projects in Arunachal Pradesh, may get affected. The dam may impact the flow of silt as well, which is essential to build up North Eastern Plains.
- China has been maintaining that it has taken into consideration India’s concerns and allays apprehensions of restricting the flow of water, saying its dams are run-of-the-river projects not designed to hold water.
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