China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive” hydro project which could cause concern in India as it may impact water flows into lower riparian countries. However, timing of blocking the Brahmaputra river tributary has raised questions since it has come at a time when India’s reported decision to suspend talks with Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty as part of its efforts to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack. The Lalho project on Xiabuqu river, a tributary of Yarlung Zangbo which is the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra, in Xigaze in Tibet involves an investment of 4.95 billion yuan (USD 740 million). Xigaze also known as Shigatse is closely located to Sikkim. From Xigaze, the Brahmaputra flows into Arunachal Pradesh. It is not clear yet what impact the blockade will have on the flow of water from the Brahmaputra into the countries like India and Bangladesh as a result.
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