New Delhi, Oct 31: Chinese engineers are testing techniques that could be used to build a 1,000-km-long tunnel, the world’s longest, to divert water from the Brahmaputra river in Tibet, close to Arunachal Pradesh, to the parched Xinjiang region, a media report said on Monday.
The move, that is expected to “turn Xinjiang into California”, has raised concerns among environmentalists about its likely impact on the Himalayan region, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported.
Water would be diverted from the Yarlung Tsangpo river in southern Tibet, which turns into the Brahmaputra once it enters India. The proposed tunnel would provide water to China’s largest administrative division, comprising vast swathes of deserts and dry grasslands.
China’s longest tunnel is the 85-km Dahuofang water project in Liaoning province, while the world’s longest tunnel is the 137-km main water supply pipe beneath the city of New York.
India, a lower riparian state, has already flagged its concerns to Beijing about various dams being built by on Brahmaputra river, which is known as Yarlung Tsangpo in China.
Beijing has been assuring India and Bangladesh, which is also a recipient of the waters from the river, that its dams were of the run of river projects and not designed to store water.