China’s parliament on Thursday adopted the 14th five-year plan which includes the controversial hydropower project on the Brahmaputra River in Tibet, close to the Arunachal Pradesh border, over which India has raised serious concerns.
Attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other senior leaders, the meeting approved a development blueprint which contains 60 proposals for speeding up China’s development.
Ringing alarm bells for India, a senior Communist party leader also claimed that construction of the dam will begin as early as this year itself.
Indian authorities are worried that this dam may trigger flash floods in lower riparian states like Assam. There is also a fear that China may hold the water during the dry season, leading to a drought-like situation in Northeast India.
Experts have pointed out that dam construction could cause the river to lose its silt and lead to a reduction in agriculture productivity.
Speaking to Northeast Live, noted green activist Aroti Baruah said India must be proactive in dealing with China as this dam is being planned on a geologically unstable area it may have a long-term implication on East Indian states.
Diplomatic relations between India and China has hit a roadblock in the past months, with troops locked in a border face-off in eastern Ladakh.
The project on the Yarlung Zangbo River in Tibet was approved by the National People’s Congress at its closing session on Thursday as part of the country’s 14th five-year plan.