We thought that the standoff between India and China was over, wait till we know about the latest plan they have hatched to build a 1000 km tunnel, the world’s longest ever to transfer the water from Brahmaputra river in Arunachal Pradesh to the parched Xinjiang region. The Chinese engineers are now testing the techniques to transport the water into China’s administrative division also raising concerns among the environmentalists as it would impact the Himalayan region.
The proposed tunnel is expected to drop down from world’s highest plateau in multiple sections and flow across swathes of deserts and dry lands. The Brahmaputra river which originates in Tibet is called the Yarlung Tsangpo in China.
The water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo River in southern Tibet (which converts to the Brahmaputra once it enters India) till the Taklamakan desert in Xinjiang.
China’s longest tunnel is the 85km Dahuofang water project in Liaoning province, while the world’s longest tunnel is the 137km main water supply pipe beneath the city of New York.
As the Chinese begin to unfold this plan India is already feeling threatened by the scarcity of water in the Tibetian plateau.
According to South China Morning Post, China has already started building a tunnel in the Yunnan province which will be around 600 kms long as a part of an exercise to implement the new technology, types of equipment and resources needed to accomplish the construction of the Tibet-Xinjiang tunnel to divert the Brahmaputra river to the Xinjiang.
However, diversion of Brahmaputra is a plan that China doesn’t wish to reveal as it aims to destroy India’s northeastern plains and Bangladesh either with floods or with reduced flow.
In 2013 India expressed its reservations to China about its hydro projects on the Brahmaputra.
In 2001 an artificial dam in Tibet collapsed killing 26 people causing damages of property worth Rs.140 crore. According to Chinese media reports, the plan for the construction of the tunnel has been sent to the senior authorities for approval by March 2018. An official associated with the Chinese government said, ” an important factor holding up the crucial project is the environmental risk involved in cutting through the fragile mountains and the high expenses to be borne in doing so.”
In the recent years, the Chinese government has cropped up various innovative plans to build dams, pumps, and tunnels to facilitate the irrigation and hydro-electric pro in the Xinjiang region.
A researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Rock And Science Mechanics. Zhan Chuanqing, China was now taking baby steps to activate the Yunnan tunnel project. “The water diversion project in the central Yunnan is just a demonstration project.
A researcher named Wang Wei who drafted the proposal for the Tibet-Xinjiang water tunnel said that almost 100 scientists from the entire China have assembled in form of teams to research on the flagship 1000 kms water tunnel project.
“It is to show we have the brains, muscle, and tools to build super-long tunnels in hazardous terrains, and the cost does not break the bank,” he was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.