China to construct three more dams on Brahmaputra river

Jan 30, 2013, 20:14 IST | PTI

China has approved construction of three more dams on Brahmaputra river in Tibet in addition to the one being built, and much to the disquiet of India, it has not been informed about the plans so far.

A document approved by the Chinese cabinet recently mentioned three dams to be built at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu on Brahmaputra, Indian officials in Beijing said. 

The document listing projects to be completed in China's 12th five year plan made a passing reference to the three dams without any details, they said.

India has not been informed about the move so far, they told PTI here.

Asked about the plans to build the dams, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing here that "China has always taken a responsible attitude towards the development of cross border rivers".

"Any new project has to go through scientific planning and study with consideration of the interests of lower and upper stream countries", he said.

Brahmaputra river is known as as Yarlung Zangbo in China.

Asked whether plans to build the dams have been approved and whether India and Bangladesh, which were lower riparian countries of the river, have been informed, Hong said he needs to get specific information.

The new projects were reportedly approved by China at the State Council or Cabinet meeting on January 23.

China has already been building a 510 MW dam at Zangmu and one of the three dams were reportedly bigger than this.

China has been arguing that its dams are run of the river designs, therefore would not be affecting the flows of the water.

India has been expressing its concerns on this issue during the bilateral meetings. It figured during the then External Affairs Minister, S M Krishna's visit in last March.

About India's concerns about Zangmu dam, Hong said at that time that the dam was not big enough to affect much of the flow to the lower riparian regions and China has not developed new hydro projects on the river.  

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