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India's hydroelectric dam duel with China sparks local resistance

Proposed 10-GW project in Himalayan state expected to submerge two towns

Fishing on the Brahmaputra River in India's state of Assam: The river, also known as the Yarlung Tsangpo in Tibet and Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, is one of Asia's largest.   © AP

KOLKATA -- Communities in India's China-bordering Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh are resisting plans to build what would be the country's largest hydroelectric project, complicating efforts to ensure water security amid fractious relations between the neighboring powers.

The Upper Siang Multipurpose Project would be a 10-gigawatt facility, equivalent to about one-fifth of India's entire existing hydropower capacity of 46.85 GW. Beyond providing power, the massive dam and reservoir are intended to offset the potential impact of China's own plans to dam the same river, which originates in the Tibet Autonomous Region, where it is known as the Yarlung Tsangpo. The 2,900 km river is called Siang in Arunachal Pradesh, Brahmaputra in the Indian state of Assam and Jamuna in Bangladesh.

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