Photo Source: ANI
Tibetan govt-in-exile president raises concern over construction of dams on Brahmaputra river
Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh), November 27, 2021 (ANI): Penpa Tsering, President of the Tibetan government-in-exile, has raised concern regarding the building of a dam on the Brahmaputra River by China and believes that the mega project can have serious implications on the lower riparian countries like India, and Bangladesh.
Talking to ANI, Tsering said, "China has been building multiple dams on all the rivers that originate from Tibet, some 32 dams on Mekong River alone before it enters the third country. It is building a dam that is considered three times the size of Three Gorges Dam, which is biggest in the world today."
As China continues with hydropower projects on the Yarlung Tsangpo River, concerns are rising in the lower riparian nations regarding the impact of these projects on the river, which is one of the crucial sources of freshwater for India and Bangladesh.
"If something has to happen to that size of a river, to the dam, then what could be the consequences on India, on Assam, and in Bangladesh? These are very serious issues that need to be considered by all the riparian countries," said Tibetan President.
Experts believe that they are now under serious threat due to the many small and big hydropower projects rampantly being executed by China.
A Toronto-based think tank International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS) has argued that the construction of these hydropower dams without consideration of upstream and downstream ecosystems and landscapes has a significant economic and environmental bearing on the location of the project, the adjoining and far-away regions as well.
Experts say that the potential to have major political and environmental implications in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in India, the states that are dependent on the Brahmaputra River, and in the country, Bangladesh.
Speaking about the development activities at the Tibetan border, Tsering mentioned, "We do not have the exact report of all the developments taking place but some are visible now. News is coming on development that is happening on the border."
He further spoke about China's stance over Tibet and revealed that "Tibet is 2.35 million square kilometers which is almost 1/4th of China. Tibetans lived on that plateau for so many centuries, why do the Chinese government want to move the Tibetans to the border areas, why not settle them in the cities and towns where people are prospering. It is just marginalization of Tibetans on the borders to send this message that Tibetans are the guardians of the Tibetan border from the other side and if they are Tibetans in the Indian army, then the tussle could be between Tibetans and Tibetans."
"That is the propaganda that the Chinese government is trying to send but I remain skeptical because there has to be trusted by the Chinese government on the Tibetan people who join the military. This is a strategic issue, not a social or economic issue. Will the Chinese government trust the Tibetans? I doubt so," Tsering added. (ANI)