Brahmaputra row: Engaged with China over trans-border rivers, says minister to Lok Sabha

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 04, 2021, 09:30 AM(IST)

A file photo of a dam. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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According to reports, China is planning to build a major hydropower project on Brahmaputra river in Tibet which was reportedly presented in the 14th Five-Year Plan.

The Indian government on Wednesday informed the Lok Sabha that it is "carefully monitoring" all developments on the Brahmaputra river over China's plans for hydropower development on the lower reaches of the Brahmaputra river.

MoS external affairs V Muraleedharan told India's lower House of Parliament that the government has consistently conveyed its views and concerns to Chinese authorities and has urged them to ensure interests of downstream states aren't harmed.

"Various issues relating to trans-border rivers are discussed with China under institutionalized Expert Level Mechanism established in 2006 and through diplomatic channels," the minister said.

Chinese state media had reported earlier that authorities could build up to 60 GW of hydropower capacity on a section of the Brahmaputra which has alerted Indian officials. According to reports, China is planning to build a major hydropower project on Brahmaputra river in Tibet which was reportedly presented in the 14th Five-Year Plan. The construction is reportedly set to begin this year.

The Central Committee of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) had said that "There is no parallel in history... it will be a historic opportunity for the Chinese hydropower industry."

"The Chinese side has conveyed to us on several occasions that they are only undertaking run-of-the-river hydropower projects, which do not involve diversion of the waters of the Brahmaputra," MoS external affairs said.

"We intend to remain engaged with China on the issue of trans-border rivers to safeguard our interests," the minister told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

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