Amidst the ongoing clash between India and China on its borders, a new threat has emerged as a key concern for the Indian side. A recent article in the Global Times claimed that China is planning to build another major hydropower project on the Brahmaputra River known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China as part of the proposal for the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan.
Though it was not for the first time that such news items have created panic in India especially in the Northeastern region, this time the tension was much higher than on previous occasions owing to the hostile relationship between the two Asian giants.
Through a Memorandum of Understanding in 2002, India was so far receiving hydrological data of the river from China. However, the process got disrupted during the Doklam standoff in 2017.
Given the current relationship between the two countries, now apprehensions were made that China might, by having control over the water flow, may divert it and create havoc for the people living in downstream, the northeasterners.
Brahmaputra, being an international river and with the rising tensions, it’s time that there must be a water-sharing treaty between China, India and Bangladesh under the aegis of an agency like the United Nations.
The Centre must accelerate its work towards such a treaty by placing the issue before the UN Security Council, whose member it is set to become next year.