NEW DELHI, June 9 - In what is expected to provide relief to flood-ravaged Assam, India and China today signed an agreement enabling the Chinese side to provide hydrological data of Brahmaputra river during flood season from May 15 to October 15 every year.
According to a statement issued by Ministry of External Affairs here today, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) also enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data if water level exceeds mutually agreed level during non-flood season, official sources here said.
The India-China bilateral agreement was signed in Qingdao soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in the Chinese port city and met Chinese President Xi Jinping today.
The MoU on sharing hydrological data was signed between the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources and the Indian Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Ambassador Gautam Bambawale and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou signed the MoU.
India and China signed a similar MoU back in May 2013 during the visit of Premier Li Keqiang to India. It was a �renewal� of the existing pact between the two countries on sharing flood data during the monsoon season. India at that time was seeking a joint mechanism with China for better transparency about 39 project sites that the latter is reported to have identified on tributaries of the Brahmaputra, including seven on the main river.
According to reports, China in fact started sharing hydrological data on Brahmaputra river from May, after a team from the Indian Water Resources Ministry met officials in China. While hydrological data of the Brahmaputra has started coming from May 15, China will start sharing data on the Sutlej next month. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in April said that China would share data on the two rivers. China stopped sharing the data with India last year soon after the Doklam standoff.