The Assam government has expressed concern following reports of China blocking a tributary of Brahmaputra in Tibet to construct its most expensive hydro project. While Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said the government is awaiting information from the Centre about the latest development, experts called on India to initiate hydro-diplomacy with China.
Sonowal said, ‘We are concerned. This is a bilateral issue between India and China. We are taking up the matter with the external affairs and water resource ministries to get accurate information on the media reports about a tributary of the Brahmaputra blocked by China in Tibet on Friday.’
China’s state-run news Brahmaputra in Assam agency Xinhua reported that the country ‘on Friday blocked a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo (Tibetan name for Brahmaputra) River as part of its most expensive hydro project, Lalho.’
China’s action is seen by many as retaliation to India’s decision to review Indus Water Treaty as it looked to turn the screw on Pakistan following the deaths of 18 soldiers in a terror attack in Uri.
‘It is unfortunate that such a development has taken place when India-Pakistan ties are strained,’ said Dulal Chandra Goswami, the former head of department of environmental science at Guwahati University.