Why Brahmaputra Should not be Dammed?-A pictorial Essay

The river Brahmaputra travels 2880 km from its origin in the young Himalayan range through Tibet and India and finally merges with the sea in Bangladesh by opening its streams. More than 200 dams are being planned in Arunachal and Assam today. China has already started construction of three dams in it-One among them will be the worlds largest. The 200 dams if completed, would generate 60,000 MW of electricity. But the costs of it would be much larger than it and impact social, economic and cultural aspects of people not in only in Assam and Arunachal but also in Bangladesh.


The Brahmaputra originates in Tibet  in the Chemayungdung mountain ranges with the name Tsanpo, amidst beauty and glory. (Photo source-internet)

yarlung-tsangpo-grand-canyon-e28093-tibetIt then enters china. The pic here shows The Great Bend of Tsangpo where China planning to build world’s biggest hydro-power project. Both India and china have had its political tug of war already over this. (photo source: internet)


It then enters Arunachal Pradesh as Siang River and flows for a stretch of 294.5 kms, until it enters Assam and become Luit. Not only will the flow of the river be impacted, but it will also displace thousands if the dams are being constructed. (Pic source: Internet)

earthquakeRiskThe Brahmaputra should not be dammed because it will lead to various environmental disasters. The pic shows that the entire North East is a very high risk zone. Construction of dams will increase the intensity of the earthquakes multifold. Most of the mandatory Environment Impact Assessments (EIA) are being forged or not being done at all, which increases the risk of disasters.

484336_376460472403786_59127526_nConstuction of NHPC mega dam in Gerukhamukh is ongoing in subansiri river. The Subansiri River is a tributary of the Brahmaputra River in the Indian states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.The dam is expected to supply a 2,000 MW power station with water when completed. The dam has already displaced several thousands on both sides of the river in the states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Thus a strong protest against it has been ongoing. (Photo source: Author)

0000000815-013-lohit-floodplainsConstruction of Dams will impact the Luit Floodplains in a very large scale. Millions depend on this floodplains for their livelihood. (Photo source: internet)

Assam floodsThe construction of dams are justified by saying that it would help in decreasing floods. But various Studies done on some of the biggest multi-purpose river valley projects of independent India, e.g. ‘Unravelling Bhakra’ by Shripad Dharmadhikary, ‘Drown and Dammed’ done on Hirakud by Prof Rohan D’Souza, “One Valley and a Thousand: Dams, Nationalism, and Development, Studies in Social Ecology & Environmental History” on Damodar Valley dams by Daniel Klingensmith have shown how unviable this proposition is. A number of these dams have actually created avoidable flood disasters in the downstream areas due to wrong operation of the dams (pic source: internet)

DSC01824A ferry ride across river Brahmaputra near Dibrugarh in Assam. Thus, its time that we wake and stop this obsession with dams. (pic source: Author)

 (Disclaimer:– The contents and the pictures of this article are referenced from the article  Brahmaputra – The Beautiful River or The Battleground? (Web link: http://sandrp.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/brahmaputra-the-beautiful-river-or-the-battleground/ . For further information, please visit this site)