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2017-08-19

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India & World incl. International Institutions
www.thehindu.com

Hinting at China’s responsibility for the current spate of floods across the northeastern States, India on Friday said Beijing had not shared any water-related data about the Himalayan rivers in the current year. The Ministry of External Affairs said under an agreement, China had committed to share annual hydrological data with India but the same has not been shared this year.

“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 but from May 15 till now, we have no data from China. The last meeting of the mechanism was held in April 2016,” said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Cooperation necessary

The spokesperson hinted at the necessity for regional cooperation to control floods and explained that the responsibility of sharing data is with China as it hosts the points of origin of the Brahmaputra and Satluj.

Mr. Kumar also flagged Nepal’s role in controlling floods in Bihar, saying External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had discussed the issue with Nepal’s Deputy PM.

The spokesperson also addressed the ongoing India-China standoff at Doklam and declined to give a timeline to the standoff adding, “I am not an astrologer and since I am not an astrologer so I will let it pass.” He however noted a racially motivated skit that appeared in the Chinese official media earlier in the week and said, “I will not dignify this with an answer.”

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