India Boosts Border Infrastructure With $1 Billion Hydropower Initiative Amid China Dispute


(MENAFN- KNN India) New Delhi, Jul 10 (KNN) In a move that could escalate tensions with China, India is set to invest USD 1 billion to accelerate the construction of 12 hydropower stations in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

This strategic initiative, aimed at bolstering infrastructure in the disputed border region, comes amid long-standing territorial disagreements between the two Asian giants.

The Indian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is expected to announce this ambitious plan in the upcoming 2024/2025 federal budget on July 23.

Sources close to the matter reveal that the finance ministry, headed by Nirmala Sitharaman, has approved substantial financial assistance for each hydropower project in the northeastern region.

This development follows India's decision last August to award contracts worth an estimated USD 11 billion to state-run firms NHPC, SJVNL, and NEEPCO for the construction of 11.5-gigawatt-capacity plants.

The move represents a significant shift from previous attempts involving private sector firms, which failed to materialise due to various obstacles.

The push for hydropower in Arunachal Pradesh is part of a broader strategy to develop infrastructure along India's border with China.

The two countries share a 2,500 km (1,553 mile) largely un-demarcated border, which has been a source of tension since their 1962 war. While India considers Arunachal Pradesh an integral part of its territory, China claims it as part of southern Tibet.

India's accelerated hydropower development in the region is also seen as a response to reports of potential Chinese dam construction on the Brahmaputra river, known as Yarlung Tsangbo in China.

Indian authorities are concerned about the potential for flash floods or water scarcity resulting from upstream Chinese projects.

The ongoing border tensions have prompted both nations to enhance infrastructure along their frontier regions, particularly following the deadly clashes in the western Himalayas in 2020.

However, recent diplomatic efforts, including a meeting between Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Kazakhstan, indicate a willingness to engage in dialogue to resolve border issues.

(KNN Bureau)

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