April 1, 2023
  • In response to Chinese dams being built in north-east, India has initiated its biggest hydroelectric project in Upper Subansiri in Arunachal Pradesh (AR) to reduce the adverse effects of Chinese dam.
  • Also, India is moving three stalled hydro projects in AP for possible allocation to National Hydroelectric Power Corporation after recommendations of evaluation committee and in-principle permission by Ministry of Power.
  • China plans to construct 60,000MW hydropower project on Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra) at Medog on border with Arunachal.
  • After construction, China plans to divert Brahmaputra water from the project to its northern arid region.
  • Three more projects i.e., 640 MW project at Dagu, 710 MW project at Bayu & 800 MW project at Zhongyu is in advance stage of planning.

Concerns associated with increasing Chinese infrastructure

  • Impact lower riparian states, particularly India including environmental consequences.
  • Diversion of water could strain India’s agricultural need in northeast region.
  • Use of water infrastructure as a form of territorial demarcation and control.
  • Causes flood like situation in Assam and AR.

About Brahmaputra River

  • It originates from Kailash ranges of Himalayas. After flowing through Tibet, it enters India through AP and flows through Assam and Bangladesh before joining Bay of Bengal.
  • It accounts for around 30 percent of India’s freshwater resources and 40 percent of its whole hydropower potential.
  • Tributaries: Subansiri, Borgong, Dhansiri(North) Manas, etc on North bank; and Noadehing, Buridehing, Desang, Dikhow, Bhogdoi etc on South Bank.
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