Share river data with India: Himanta tells China

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Aug 23: Suspecting that the third wave of flood in Assam was possibly caused due to heavy rainfall in China, Assam government on Wednesday urged the centre to ask Chinese authorities to share hydrological data of Brahmaputra, which flows through Tibet, with India so that the state government can prepare for the oncoming disaster in advance.

“China for mysterious reasons has not shared the hydrological data with India. We appeal to China to share the river data. We are formally writing to union government to continue persuading China to share the data so that we can take early measures in the event of flood,” Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters here on Wednesday.

“Both India and China have two separate agreements signed in 2013 and 2015 on sharing of hydrological data of Brahmaputra during monsoon every year between May 15 to October 15. The data share by upper riparian state, China, to lower riparian states, India and Bangladesh is essential every monsoon to allow anticipation of the flow of the water and take necessary measures to deal with flooding,” Sarma said.

According to the report of Indian meteorological Department (IMD), Arunachal Pradesh has received 13% deficit rainfall while Assam received 4% deficit rainfall between August 1 and August 23. Only Mizoram and Tripura had excess rainfall during this period. Manipur had 57% deficit and Nagaland received a deficit of 33%.

“During the floods, we did not have any abnormal rainfall here. I had met the Arunachal Pradesh chief minister, who told me that there was no excess rainfall in that state as well. Then, where did the water came from?…China, for mysterious reasons, is not sharing the hydrological data with India,” Sarma said.

“When the first two waves came, beginning in April, there were heavy rain but not in the next wave. But when the third wave affected the state there wasn’t abnormally high rainfall neither in Arunachal Pradesh nor in Assam. Where did all the water came from?” Sarma questioned.

“This was a matter that needs to studied, while referring to media reports that China could trigger floods in Assam by releasing water from its numerous dams built across Brahmaputra which flows in the country as Tsang Po,” Sarma also said.

“Indian media have reported about possible designs of China to trigger floods by releasing the water from its dams. All these could be speculations but the fact is that China hasn’t shared the data,” he added.

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