China promises to monitor landslide situation in Yarlung Tsangpo

Beijing
23 Oct 2018

China has promised to monitor the landslide situation in the course of the Yarlung Tsangpo so that there is no threat to Arunachal Pradesh and Assam which lie on the downstream of the river which is known in India as Siang and Brahmaputra.
"By October 20, the river section of the barrier lake has returned to normal. We will keep close monitoring of the landslide situation and maintain close communication and cooperation with the Indian side through the existing channels," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has told a media briefing.
Chinese hydrological department had informed India about the situation immediately after the landslide and also launched the emergency reporting mechanism.  "Up to October 22, we have provided seven bits of hydrological information and 110 bits of statistics. We also reported the Indian side of the flow of barrier lake," Hua has said.
China has resumed sharing of hydrological data on the Brahmaputra from May 15 after a gap of one year. It had stopped sharing the data with India last year soon after the Doklam stand-off, stating that its hydrological stations in Tibet were being upgraded and that the data couldn't be shared.
The data is important for predicting floods in basins of the rivers. Brahmaputra gets severely flooded during monsoon months affecting Northeast India and Bangladesh.
India and China have established Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) in 2006 to discuss various issues related to trans-border rivers. Under the existing bilateral agreements, China provides hydrological information of Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) and Sutlej (Langqen Zangbo) to India during the flood seasons.
As per the arrangement, China provides data of the Brahmaputra river between May 15 and October 15 every year. This year the data sharing was extended due to the barrier lake in the river.
China has been building major dams on the Brahmaputra river to generate electricity. While the dams raised concerns of water shortages in India and Bangladesh, China maintains that its dams were aimed at generating power and not storing water. PTI