Assam Health and Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today wondered “why China is not sharing the hydrological data with India” while referring to media reports which alleged Chinese involvement in the current spate of floods in northeastern states. “This year there was no excessive rainfall in Assam,” Sharma said. “I met the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh and enquired about the rainfall there, he said it was normal like the yesteryears,” Sarma said, questioning “where has the “third wave” of water come from?”
On behalf of Assam government, Sarma requested China to share the data immediately. He also added that the Assam government will persuade the Centre to ask these data from China. “It is the right of India to get those data,” Sarma said while addressing a press conference in Guwahati. He said, “before taking the measures we need to know the source of water which has caused flood in the state.” “If China opens up the gates of huge dams constructed on Brahmaputra river than the entire state (Assam) will be submerged in water,” Sarma said.
Under the MoUs signed in 2013 and ‘15 the hydrological data is to be shared between 15 May to 15 October every year by China but from 15 May till now, we have no data from China. The last meeting of the mechanism was held in April 2016,” Raveesh Kumar, Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, had earlier said.
According to IANS, an expert at a Chinese think-tank had said China will not share hydrological data with India until it withdraws its troops from Doklam. Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said China cannot be expected to fulfill its obligation when India has no regards for its neighbour’s sovereignty. China will not agree to carry out normal cooperation on hydrological data with India unless it agrees to withdraw troops from Doklam, the Global Times quoted him as saying.
More than 11 lakh people in Assam, were hit by the floods that have submerged 9,000 hectares of farm fields. In the wave of floods this year, 2.83 lakh big and 1.71 lakh small animals, besides 4.73 lakh poultry have been affected. Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, embankments and culverts have been damaged by the floods in Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Dhemaji, Dhhubri, Nagaon and Dibrugarh districts, PTI reported.