- The mighty Brahmaputra river originates from Tibet and flows into Arunachal Pradesh
- The hydrological data shared by China is essential to deal with flooding in the northeastern states
- China stopped sharing the data during the 73-day Doklam stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops
- India pays J 1 crore to China annually for providing data on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers
NEW DELHI: China has resumed sharing vital hydrological data on the Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers with India after a gap of one year, the Water Resources Ministry said on Sunday. The move comes after India and China had talks over the issue in March. According to a ministry official, the data will be shared twice daily until October.
The mighty Brahmaputra river originates from Tibet and flows into Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and later drains into the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh. The hydrological data shared by China with India and Bangladesh is essential every monsoon to allow anticipation of the flow of the water and take necessary measures to deal with flooding in India’s northeastern states.
China started sharing information about the Brahmaputra river on May 15, while it started sharing data on the Sutlej river on June 1. Beijing has started providing data from three hydrological stations, which are Nugesha, Yangcun and Nuxia, lying on the mainstream of the Brahmaputra, also known as Yarlung Zangbo in China, and from the station at Tsada for the Sutlej, known as Langqen Zangbo, the official said.
“On the basis of humanitarian spirit and our shared will to develop bilateral ties we will continue with cooperation on hydrological information,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a media briefing in Beijing.
Last year, China stopped sharing the data saying that the hydrological data gathering sites were washed away due to floods. This coincided with the 73-day Doklam standoff between Indian and Chinese troops over the Chinese military’s plans to build a road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor connecting the north-eastern states.
The sharing of data coincides with the two neighbours agreeing to resume the annual exercise between their armies. India pays R1 crore to China annually for providing data on these two important rivers, the official added.
After bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, an agreement was signed between India and China to share hydrological data for Brahmaputra from May 15 to October 15, the period during which the river is prone to floods. The officials also reviewed the data utilisation report on the provision of hydrological information on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers by China to India in the flood season.