February 09, 2013

Hydro Power Projects Race to Tap the Potential of Brahmaputra River

Brig (retd) Vinod Anand (Senior Fellow, VIF)

For past many years while China has been in the news for its efforts in exploiting the vast hydro power potential of Yarlung Tsangpo River of Tibet Autonomous Region India has also been attempting to tap the potential of this river known as Brahmaputra in India.

Recent reports indicate that China has approved the construction of three new hydropower dams on the middle reaches of Yarlung Tsangpo. Work on an older 510 MW hydro project in Zangmu in Tibet had commenced way back in 2010. The capacity of the two new projects coming up at Dagu and Jiacha would be 640 MW and 320 MW respectively while the capacity of the third new dam at Jiexu is yet to be confirmed. These projects have been planned to be completed in China's 12th Five Year Plan period i.e. 2011-2017. China has, as usual, given the assurances that these are run of the river projects and in no way affect the downstream flows. In addition China has also built at least six smaller projects on tributaries of Tsangpo which again according to the Chinese would not affect waters flowing into India   READ MORE

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