China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra River in Tibet because it is building a dam for its hydro project. It is a major cause of concern for India as it will directly impact water flows into the lower regions of our country.
China is working on Lalho project on the Xiabuqu River, which is a tributary of the Yarlung zangbo (Brahmaputra River), in Tibet and the cost involved in this project is around 4.95 billion yuan.
It is one of the most expensive projects in China, whose construction began in June 2014 and it is expected to be completed in 2019.
If this dam is built then one thing is sure that it will greatly impact the water flow in India and Bangladesh.
Last year also China operated its $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower station in Tibet, built over Brahmaputra river and India raised its concerns. But China has been saying that it has taken into consideration India’s concerns and told that its dams are not designed to hold water.
China has made a 12th five yar plan and in this plan they have a intention to build more dams on mainstream of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet which are already approved and being worked upon.
In March 2016, Sanwar Lal, Union Minister of State of water resources raised his concerns through a statement about the impact of building dam over the river.
India and China do not have any water treaty signed but an Expert Level Mechanism on trans-border rivers has been established in October 2013 and two Governments have signed a memorandum of Understanding on strengthening cooperation on trans-border rivers under which Beijing provides information to India on the water flows.
The blockade of Brahmaputra River has come at a time when there is tension at India and Pakistan border and PM Narendra Modi is also thinking to take decision on Sindhu River under Indus Water Treaty and it is expected that China is trying to pressurize India.
Spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang said that China wants India and Pakistan to solve their disputes and improve relations through dialogue and consultation, maintain and enhance all round cooperation and join hands to promote regional peace, stability and development.