The Bold Voice of J&K

DAM POWER

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At last China has announced that it has completed a major hydro-power project on Brahamaputra called Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet. All these years India has been expressing concern about dangers of damming the Brahamaputra, one of the strongest Himalayan rivers in upstream area in Tibet. The dam is bound to enhance fears in India and Bangladesh about flash floods, landslides and other related dangers involving the lives of millions of people downstream. Every year the region faces worst floods during monsoons and now coming up of dam upstream would add to the prevailing dangers. The huge project by Chinese would produce 510,000 kw after its four years construction. The project is designed to generate 2.5 billion KW hours of electricity annually. The first phase of the project which is over 3,300 meters above sea level on the ‘Roof of the World’ went into operation on Sunday. Five other sections are due for completion not later than next year. Indian officials were in dark about the Chinese plan. Whenever India raised the issue, Chinese very diplomatically convinced that its plans were restricted to run of the river dam focused on generating electricity which posed little danger. In fact the dam would affect the river’s flow in Arunachal Pradesh and other parts of North East. By building up such a massive project China may be targeting the electricity produced to meet its growing needs for energy  but the cost in terms of environment damage is seen as catastrophic by unsettling the fragile ecology in the Tibetan region. Now the project is already nearing completion, India’s stand will commission extensive studies to study the impact of the dam on Brahamaputra at such a late stage; would it be of any use? The guess is as good as any one’s. China once again has won a diplomatic battle in which, one feels, India was caught napping.

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