China is exploring all the possibilities to tackle Indian strategies. Now, Brahmaputra river is under the dragon’s scan to irritate India.
China is now planning to use Brahmaputra river waters as a weapon against India. It has built 3 dam projects to control the flow of the Brahmaputra river. Also, 3 large hydro-power projects in very close proximity to each other just within a span of 24 kms were built which is a matter of immediate concern.
These three dams are –
- The Zangmo dam, which is already in commission;
- The Gyatsa dam, which has been constructed and is waiting to be commissioned;
- The Dagu dam, which has been in construction since 2017 and is the largest of the three.
All the 3 dams have reservoirs with a combined capacity of almost a billion cubic meters of water.
The prospect of controlling the flow of the river Brahmaputra river by China is a matter of concern for downstream nations such as India and Bangladesh. Brahmaputra river sub-basin in both these countries supports 66 million people for their livelihood.
China has also constructed another 3 dams on the tributary of the Brahmaputra river – the Nyang River. These 3 dams – Pagsum, Langsai, and Nyang, though smaller in size hold a considerable amount of water.
Also, there are other Eleven hydropower projects on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river. If China decides to cut off the water supply it could be disastrous for India.
It is to remember that in 2016, China has decided to block the Xiabuqu river, which is one of the many tributaries of the Brahmaputra on the Chinese side.
Brahmaputra River In India
The river Brahmaputra and its tributaries carry more than 30% of the total water resource potential of India. The residents of 22 districts in the Indian state of Assam rely on the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries for their livelihood. The river is also extremely important for the transportation of people and materials.
625 million people live in the Brahmaputra basin, of which, farmers constitute 80% who need the river water for their crops and animals.
Brahmaputra River In Bangladesh
Bangladesh gets 94% (totalling 2.9 billion metric tons) of its water supplies from the Brahmaputra river and its tributaries.
Brahmaputra River – Ecological Balance
Brahmaputra river system and its delta are one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive regions. China’s cot lams can result in ecological disaster.
Also, China’s continued construction activities in the Himalayan region pose an ecological risk.
Seismologists warn the region to be highly vulnerable to earthquakes and seismic activities.
The Brahmaputra basin is one of the world’s most ecologically sensitive zones. This region is home to several species of flora and fauna that are unique to this part of the world. The Kaziranga National Park houses 15 mammalian species that are listed as threatened in the IUCN conservation list. While the river itself is home to the Gangetic river dolphin that is considered critically endangered.