April 15, 2024

New satellite images show China building dam close to India border

TAP | Updated: January 21, 2023

NEW DELHI, Jan 21: China seems to be building a new dam on a tributary of Ganga in Tibet, alarmingly close to the India-Nepal border, satellite images tweeted by an Intel Lab researcher shows, a development likely to worsen the already fragile ties between the two neigbours.

According to the images, the dam is being built on Yarlung and Zangbo rivers which connect Arunachal Pradesh’s Siang and Assam’s Brahmaputra.

Damien Symon, a geospatial intelligence researcher at the Intel Lab, tweeted an image that shows some construction activity or movements on the Chinese side on the Majba Zangbo river in Burang county of Tibet.

According to him, this construction is taking place since 2021.

"Since early 2021, China has been constructing a dam on the Mabja Zangbo river just a few kilometers north of the trijunction border with India & Nepal, while the structure isn't complete, the project will raise concerns regarding China's future control on water in the region,” Symon tweeted.

There are several concerns around this development, mainly that China will control the water storage and the power that gives it to the superpower to flood parts of India. The Mabja Zangbo river merges with Nepal’s Karnali river before joining the Ganga in India.

Analysing the satellite images, Symon said that the dam appears to be 350 meters to 400 meters long. He added that an airport is also under construction in that area.

Meanwhile, China is strengthening its measures at the LAC against India. On January 20, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a virtual conversation with soldiers stationed along the India-China border in eastern Ladakh and inspected their combat readiness.

Official reports state that Xi had asked border troops “about their border patrol and management work” and “hailed the soldiers as models of border defence and encouraged them to persist in their efforts and make new contributions.” (Agency)