India is considering a plan to build a 10 gigawatts (GW) hydropower project in a remote eastern state, an Indian official said on Tuesday, following reports that China could construct dams on a section of the Brahmaputra river.
The river, also known as the Yarlung Tsangbo in China, flows from Tibet into India’s Arunachal Pradesh state and down through Assam to Bangladesh. Indian authorities are concerned Chinese projects could trigger flash floods or create water scarcity.
“The need of the hour is to have a big dam in Arunachal Pradesh to mitigate the adverse impact of the Chinese dam projects,” T.S. Mehra, a senior official in India’s federal water ministry, told Reuters.
“Our proposal is under consideration at the highest level in the government,” Mehra said, adding the Indian plan would create a large water storage capacity to offset the impact of Chinese dams on flows.
Diplomatic relations between India and China are at a nadir, with troops locked in a border face-off in the western Himalayas for months.