Justifying its move to blockade a tributary of the Brahmaputra to construct a dam, China on Saturday sought to allay apprehensions that it would affect the river flow into India saying that there will be no adverse impact on downstream areas.
Terming the Lalho dam project on the Xiabuqu river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra which is locally called as Yarlung Zangbo, as an important livelihood project to address food security and flood safety in Tibet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the tributary river is located completely within the Chinese side. “The reservoir capacity of the project is less than 0.02 per cent of the average annual runoff of the Yarlung Zangbo- Brahmaputra. It cannot have an adverse impact on the downstream,” Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a written reply to PTI to a question on India's concerns over the dam. Brahmaputra flows from Tibet into Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and later into Bangladesh.
On October 1, China announced the blockade of Xiabuqu river in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive” dam project. The Lalho project on Xiabuqu River a tributary in Xigaze in Tibet involves an investment of USD 740 million. Referring to the Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) on trans-border rivers between India and China, the Chinese foreign ministry said both the countries have been carrying out good cooperation on trans border rivers for a long time.