China builds dam in Tibet near Indian border


January 22, 2023


China builds dam in Tibet near Indian border

Screenshot of a satellite image posted on Twitter by Damien Symon, an intelligence researcher, shows the construction of a dam by China near the tri-junction with India and Nepal. Photo: Twitter/@detresfa_

NEW DELHI: China has built a new dam in Tibet on a tributary of the Ganga, close to the tri-junction of its borders with India and Nepal, that could be used to control the flow of water downstream, new satellite imagery has revealed, Hindustan Times reported.

The development comes in the wake of China unveiling plans to build a “super” dam close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tibet on the lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo river, which flows into Arunachal Pradesh as the Siang and then to Assam as the Brahmaputra, it said.

It also comes at a time when satellite imagery has shown that China has substantially ramped up creation of military and dual use infrastructure and villages in the eastern and western sectors of the LAC.

Satellite images tweeted by Damien Symon, a geospatial intelligence researcher at the Intel Lab, showed earth development and dam construction activity done by the Chinese side on Mabja Zangbo river in Burang county of Tibet since May 2021.

The images clearly depict the obstruction of the river’s path, the formation of a reservoir and an embankment-type dam.

The Mabja Zangbo river flows into the Ghaghara or Karnali river in Nepal before eventually joining the Ganga river in India.

The dam is located just a few kilometres north of the tri-junction of China’s border with India and Nepal, Symon said.

According to the latest satellite images, the dam appears to be 350 metres to 400 metres long, Symon said.

“The structure is currently in development, so the purpose is unknown,” he said.

“It appears to be an embankment dam,” he added.

“An airport is being constructed nearby as well”, he said.

(Inputs from Hindustan Times)