Both India and Bangladesh, lower riparian states, have been concerned about any dam in the lower reaches of the river locally known as Yarlung Zangbo. While it still has to be ascertained if the project will lead to any diversion of water, sources in New Delhi said the government remains engaged with China under the 2006 expert level mechanism, and also through diplomatic channels, on developments related to the Brahmaputra.
The proposal for the dam was first reported late last year after which China had said that there was no reason for any anxiety over the project and that Beijing was going to have “good communication” with the lower riparian states.
While stating that hydropower development in the lower reaches was China’s legitimate right, China had then also said all such projects went through “science-based planning and assessment” giving full consideration to impact downstream.
India had said in December that it was closely following all developments on the Brahmaputra and that the government had consistently conveyed its concerns to Chinese authorities.
Reports from Beijing said the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature with over 2,000 members, adopted the plan in the presence of President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiand and other senior leaders.