The operational commissioning of the Zam Hydropower Station earlier this month on the Yarlung Zangbo river, also known as the Zangmu Hydropower Project, located in Gyaca county of the Shannan prefecture in China, and considered to be Tibet’s largest such facility, has raised fresh concerns in downstream India, especially in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. New Delhi had information about Beijing’s plans of developing hydropower on the Yarlung Zangbo for over five years now, with other projects such as Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu in different stages of planning/construction.

The reading of the Sino-Indian diplomatic engagement over the transboundary Yarlung Zangbo (Tsangpo)-Brahmaputra river system has largely been through the lens of suspicion and lack of information/data sharing on the shared river system. Any bilateral government-to-government interactions on the Brahmaputra are shrouded in bureaucratic secrecy, overshadowed by the baggage of the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict and the ensuing territorial contestations over Arunachal Pradesh. This strategic straightjacketing accorded to the Brahmaputra has led to basin-wide co-riparian mistrust. Read more

Courtesy: THE HINDU