Is China Diverting Brahmaputra Waters? New Satellite Imagery-Based Report Reveals Possible Diversion Tunnel

Is China Diverting Brahmaputra Waters? New Satellite Imagery-Based Report Reveals Possible Diversion TunnelChina’s Zangmu dam on the Yarlung Zangbo/Brahmaputra River. (Google)

A satellite imagery-based report by Colonel (Retired) Vinayak Bhat in The Print has revealed 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.

The 200-meter wide dam, which is currently under construction, is located 60 km east of Shannan township in Feixi county, the report reveals, adding that a close study of geographical features of the area indicates that China may divert the waters of the Brahmaputra approximately 1,100 km northwest of the site of the project.

China is planning to build a 1,000-kilometre (km) tunnel—the world’s longest—to carry water from Brahmaputra River in Tibet to its restive Xinjiang province, a report in the South China Morning Post had said early last month. China had denied the existence of any such plan soon after.

The report in The Print says that China is using chemicals harmful to humans and animals at the construction site. Water passing through the construction site takes 15 to 20 days to reach India. Local media resorts have indicated a change in colour of the water in Brahmaputra River over the last few weeks.

A report in Swarajya, published last month, had examined evidence suggesting the existence of a Chinese plan to construct a 1000-km long tunnel to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra to the arid region of Xinjiang province.