Dig world’s longest tunnel to divert Brahmaputra waters : China is planning to dig a 1000-km long tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel to divert water away from Brahmaputra river in Tibet close to Arunachal Pradesh to the arid Xinjiang region. The Brahmaputra, called the Yarlung Tsangpo in China, originates in Tibet and flows downstream into India’s northeast and sustains millions of people in its basin flowing into Bangladesh before meeting the Bay of Bengal. The proposed tunnel, which aims to “turn Xinjiang into California”, would drop down from the world’s highest plateau in multiple sections connected by waterfalls. This will provide water in China’s vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.“An important factor holding up approval for the gigantic project is the environmental risks involved in cutting through fragile mountains,” an engineer attached to Chinese government said. Another factor could be the high cost involved. The tunnel may be another source of tensions between India and China as the plan, if approved, would have huge ramifications for states along the eastern corridor as well as Bangladesh. Environmentalists in China have also raised concerns about the impact of such a project on the Himalayan region.
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