News & Information From Northeast India

China sharing hydrological data with India, says Assam minister

China has been sharing hydrological data with India on a regular basis, which helps in mitigating the flood problem of Assam, water resources minister Keshab Mahanta informed the state legislative assembly in Guwahati on July 31.

In reply to a written question, Mahanta informed that China as well as Bhutan has been sharing hydrological data with India without any hassles currently.

This information is vital for Assam in particular, as rainfall and related activities in these two bordering countries have a direct bearing on the flood situation in the state.

The data sharing with China is conducted under the India China Expert Level Mechanism, set up in 2006, Mahanta further said.

Besides the two bordering countries, rainfall activities in neighbouring states also have a direct bearing on the flood situation in the state, the minister added.

He further said in view of the complicated nature of Assam’s flood and erosion problem, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had instructed for coming up with long-term solutions and an expert committee, headed by the vice-chairman of the NITI Aayog, was formed in 2017 to deliberate on the matter.

The committee, in its report, has recommended setting up a North East Water Management Authority (NEWMA), and the Assam government has also supported the proposal, Mahanta said, adding that this will help in better coordination among the North Eastern states for a solution to the state’s flood problem.

Meanwhile, on the demand for declaring the state’s flood and erosion problems as national problems, the minister said the demand was placed by an all-party delegation of the state Assembly before the Union Water Resources minister in 2002.

Subsequent unanimous resolutions of the Assembly in support of the demand were again placed before the Centre in 2012 and 2013.

Additionally, in 2015, another resolution seeking inclusion of erosion in the list of admissible calamities for funding under NDRF or SDRF was sent to the Centre, which was further pursued by Mahanta earlier this month.

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