China builds first hydropower dam on Brahmaputra in Tibet
New Delhi: China has announced that its 510 MW hydropower dam project at Yarlung Zangbo, the source of River Brahmaputra in Tibet, has started functioning. .
The construction, which began in 2010, had, in the past, raised concern in India. It is expected that the newly constructed dam in Tibet's Zangmu will further enhance flood and landslide risks in India and Bangladesh.
The Brahmaputra, one of the strongest Himalayan Rivers, has its source in Tibet and it is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo (or Zangbo in Chinese) in the country.
India had, in the past, repeatedly expressed concern about the dangers of damming the Brahmaputra to which the China had said that its plans were restricted to run-off-the-river dams focussed on generating electricity.
It should be noted that Indian officials remained uninformed so far about China's move to build a massive project.
The latest construction would also have an impact on the river's flow into Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of the northeastern region.
The Chinese government on Sunday said that the project would be useful in harnessing the rich water resources of the Brahmaputra to allow the development of the electricity-strapped region.
A total of USD 1.5 billion was used in the construction of Yarlung Zangbo Hydropower Station. It is over 3,300 metre above sea level.
The Chinese government said that it will have power capacity of 510,000kW after its four-year construction. Zangmu is one of the five projects planned on the River Brahmaputra to generate a total of 2,000MW of hydro power.
The Government of India has recently said that it will scrutinise the impact of dam building and behavioural changes in the Brahmaputra.