Wednesday, January 20, 2021 | ePaper

Bangladesh to be the worst victim of building dams on Brahmaputra by China, India

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MEDIA report said China would build large-scale dams on the River Yarlung Zangbo, which flows as the Brahmaputra River through India and Jamuna River through Bangladesh. China plans to generate hydropower and use the dams for security reason. The Times of India recently reported that India is also planning to construct a dam on the River Brahmaputra at Arunachal Pradesh on Chinese border not only to generate electricity but also to counter the impact of the Chinese dam. We would hope both the adversarial countries would use the proposed dams to positively exploit water for electricity. But if they attempt to punish each other unduly diverting water and controlling the flow, we would have reasons to fear troubles as a lower riparian country.
We would suggest Bangladesh should keep close watch on the development while sharing our concerns to both the countries on the supposed negative impacts of the dams. We don't know how things will eventually develop. China's planning authority is working on the proposal to build the dams with its long-term goals through 2035 to install up to 60 gigawatts of hydropower capacity dams on the river.
India is considering on the other hand building a 10-gigawatt hydropower capacity dam in the Arunachal Pradesh to counter the impact of the Chinese dam that could trigger flash floods or water scarcity on the Indian side. The Indian proposal is under consideration; it is planning to create large water storage to counter the Chinese dams.
Bangladesh water experts are still in the dark without knowing the exact features of the proposed dams in China and India. Water resource experts said if they withdraw or divert water from the rivers, it would create problems for us at a time over 60 per cent of the trans-boundary river water in Bangladesh comes from the River Brahmaputra.
A Chinese expert has however rightly said exploiting common river waters should be positively looked at to create more opportunities for cooperation between China and South Asian countries. His suggestion fit to the occasion as he said China and India may establish a working mechanism for cooperation like the Mekong River cooperation as a model to promote such cooperation. We believe it will also immensely address Bangladesh's concerns.  

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