Breaking its conspicuous silence on the issue of change in colour of Brahmaputra River’s water, China on Wednesday blamed a 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Tibet in mid-November as the cause, India Today has reported.
According to the report, the Chinese government has said that an investigation undertaken by it has confirmed that river's water quality turbidity was most likely temporary and was caused by the earthquake.
“After the earthquake, we monitored the water quality of the Yarlung Zangbo River and the results showed that it met the standards of Class III water," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
Indian officials have contended that construction activity by the Chinese on the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra river is rendering the water downstream unfit for human consumption, the Associated Press had reported earlier. However, according to the India Today report, India's Central Water Commission has said that the change in colour was because of landslides and was likely temporary.
A report in The Print, based on satellite imagery, had indicated the existence of a possible diversion project on the Brahmaputra river in Tibet.
According to the report, satellite images captured on 26 November 2017 shows that China is constructing a massive new dam on the Brahmaputra river which appears to have a kilometre long underground tunnel meant to divert water.
China, however, has denied the construction of any such structure.
"We have noted that Indian media recently made a series of reports on this issue," Hua said. "They said China was conducting water conservancy project or exploiting a mine previously whereas now claim there is a barrier lake upstream. I could tell you responsibly that none of these speculations is true according to the results of the investigation by relevant Chinese authorities,” he noted.
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