China blocks Brahmaputra tributary, claims Indian media

NEW DELHI: Indian media on Saturday claimed China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive hydro project”.


According to the Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency, the Lalho project on the Xiabuqu River, a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra), is worth a 4.95 billion yuan (740 million US dollars) investment.

Construction on the project began in June 2014 and it was scheduled to be completed in 2019, it said.

According to Indian media, it is not clear what impact the blockade of the river would have on the flow of water from the Brahmaputra into India.

The development follows heightened tensions between India and Pakistan, and reports of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviewing the country’s Indus Water Treaty with its neighbor.

It is unclear if the blockade in China has any link with India’s review of the Indus Water Treaty.

According to Xinhua, China’s move is within the parameters of the larger Lalho project.

Last year, China operationalised the $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station on the Brahmaputra river, raising concerns in India.

China maintains that it has taken into consideration India’s concerns. China country says it has no intentions of restricting the flow of water, saying its dams are not designed to hold water.