Hinting at China’s responsibility for the current spate of floods across the northeastern States, India has accused Beijing of not sharing any water-related data about the Himalayan rivers in the current year.
The Brahmaputra and the Sutlej are the two major trans-border rivers that enter India directly from China. There is an existing mechanism named India-China Expert-Level mechanism started in 2006 to share hydrological data during the flood season for Brahmaputra and Satluj rivers. Under the MoUs, the hydrological data is to be shared between May 15 to October 15 every year. However, the same has not been shared this year.
- China’s refusal so far to share the data with India this year comes amid a two-month-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops on the Himalayan plateau of Doklam, which is claimed by both Thimphu and Beijing. The face-off is the longest at the border between India and China in three decades.
- The breakdown of the mechanism for sharing river water data is the latest in a series of sparks threatening to set alight a carefully managed relationship that has allowed India and China to simultaneously emerge economic powerhouses despite a border dispute they once warred over.
This highlights the need for Regional cooperation to control floods.