Brahmaputra dam will no diversion of waters: China

Bangladesh does not need to be worried at all about China’s dam built on the Brahmaputra River as it will not hamper water flow in any way, said a Chinese government official.“It doesn’t have the function of water conservancy. It’s purely for electricity generation and there’ll be no diversion of the waters (by China),” a Chinese government official told UNB while responding to a question at the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The official made the remark on behalf of Hou Yanqi, Deputy Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs at the Chinese Foreign Ministry, when she was asked whether Bangladesh should be worried over the issue.

The official who preferred not to be named said there will be no ‘cut-off’ of water as it will continue to be flowing and such concern is ‘unquotable’.

Yanqi, also in-charge of South Asia wing of the Ministry, was discussing on bilateral and regional issues with journalists from Bangladesh and Nepal last week.

In October, China operationalised the largest dam in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra River, raising concerns in India over the likelihood of disrupting water supplies.

The Zam Hydropower Station has been built at a cost of $1.5 billion and all six of the station’s units were incorporated into the power grid.

The dam, recognised as Zangmu Hydropower Station, raised some concerns in India and partially in Bangladesh.

Known as the Jamuna River in Bangladesh, any diversion of the waters by China could have some drastic effects for Bangladesh, as it is one of the two lower riparian countries along with India.

Indian side, according to India media reports, has said they will monitor the Chinese Hydropower Station on the Brahmaputra River over reports that it may disrupt water supplies in the country. Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also raised concern over the matter.