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Bangladesh disputes Chinese activities on Brahmaputra

In a significant development in which India failed to take-up issues with the Chinese government, Bangladesh has dared to push the issue relating to both the neighboring countries.  According to a media report Chinese government planned to construct several mega dams and hydro projects in Brahmaputra (Lohit) basin in Tibet’s Jangmu and Great Bend region. Bangladesh opposed the Chinese plan through a strong letter from Dacca to Beijing. A copy of the letter from Bangladesh’s foreign office was also sent to Bangladesh high commissioner’s office at New Delhi and Chinese embassy in Dacca. Bangladesh through this letter suggested to hold a three-party meeting among China, Bangladesh and India to discuss on this issue. In the protest letter named ‘Note Verbal’ it has been said that Brahmaputra is an international river and on this river commissioning of a 500 Megawatt Jangmu hydropower project near Arunachal Pradesh of India’s Great Bend river’s circular bend, world’s greatest hydro project’s news is in the knowledge of Bangladesh. After commissioning of 40,000 KV hydro project, Bangladesh under the lower basin would be badly affected. Bangladesh water resource minister, Ansul Islam Mehmud speaking to media persons in Dacca recently said that his country had asked the Chinese authorities to inform about the commissioning of the project and suggested to hold a three-party meeting among the three countries. Indo-Bangla Joint River Commission’s member Meer Sajjad Hussain said that Chinese authorities were asked to send ‘Note Verbal’ on this matter. Afterwards a protest note was also sent to China.

Bangladesh’s water experts feel that during dry seasons their country would be badly affected if dams are constructed at Brahmaputra, the river which supplies 75 percent water to Bangla rivers. The Bay of Bengal’s salty water would badly affect country’s agriculture, forestry, horticulture, navigation and environment also. Besides, that the natural life of Brahmaputra would also extinct, if the project comes in operation. The construction of mega dam at Brahmaputra is bound to bring natural calamity to both India and Bangladesh. According to Bangladesh water resource ministry and Indo-Bangla Joint River Commission’s sources on November 20, 2014, China started the construction of Jangmu hydropower project, which is to be the world’s heaviest hydropower project. China plans to produce forty thousand megawatt power from this project. There is also a plan to establish four more projects from which 2000 MW power would be produced.

According to China’s national hydropower company Sino-hydro and Chinese Society of Hydropower Engineers, Brahmaputra runs straight through Tibet about 1700 kms and enters into India at a place named Motuo, the place which is famous in the name of Great Bend. Coming down from the hills to plain the river’s current is very high. By constructing 40,000 MW power project at Great Bend China would save ten crore tones of coal. Jangmu hydropower project has been planned by China keeping an eye at this site. Brahmaputra is known as Sangpo in Chinese territory running about 2850 kms. After entering Arunachal Pradesh, Brahmaputra turns towards south and enters into Assam. In Assam it makes way towards west and afterwards through Kurigram in south enters Bangladesh. In Bangladesh up to Bahadurabad it is known as Brahmaputra and prior to joining Ganges, it is known as Jamuna. It runs through Bangladesh about 230 kms.(End)

 

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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