Can’t share Brahmaputra data: China

 BEIJING, Sept 12 – Post Doklam, China today said it cannot share with India the hydrological data of the Brahmaputra river due to upgradation of data collection station in Tibet but expressed readiness for talks to reopen the Nathu La pass in Sikkim for the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra.China is expected to share hydrological data on the Sutlej and Brahmaputra rivers with India during the flood season of May 15 to June 15 under a bilateral expert-level mechanism established in 2006.

“For long time we have conducted cooperation on the river data with the Indian side. But to upgrade and renovate the relevant station in the Chinese side, we do not have the conditions now to collect the relevant statistics of the river,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media here.

Asked when will China provide the data, which was reportedly suspended due to the Doklam standoff, he said, “We will later consider that.”

Asked whether India has been informed about not sharing of the hydrological data, he said according to his information the Indian side is aware of the relevant situation.

On August 18, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar had said there is an existing expert-level mechanism, established in 2006, and there are two MoUs under which China is expected to share hydrological data on rivers Sutlej and Brahmaputra with India during the flood season of May 15 to June 15.

“For this year, we have not received hydrological data from the Chinese side,” Kumar had said.

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 in India’s northeastern states.

China’s stand citing technical reasons to not provide the hydrological data could pose major problems for India, especially to manage flood and drought seasons.

China has been building major dams on the Brahmaputra river to generate hydel power. It has operationalised Zangmu hydroelectric project in October, 2015 and three more are under construction. – PTI



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