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�Centre must closely interact with China on the Brahmaputra�

By AJIT PATOWARY

GUWAHATI, Nov 6 - The States concerned of India�s northeastern region should prevail upon the Union government to closely interact with the Chinese authorities for seeking comprehensive technical cooperation on matters related to the Brahmaputra.

For example, the recent formation of a landslide-induced lake on the Yarlung Tsangpo in the eastern Tibet region of China had posed a grave threat to Arunachal Pradesh and Assam like the dangling Damocles� Sword.

The above observations were made by Prof Nayan Sarma, a leading river engineering expert of the country. Sarma was a former professor of IIT Roorkee and is presently an honorary professor of River Science at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

He was speaking to The Assam Tribune on the growing incidents of formation of landslide-induced dams on the Yarlung Tsangpo, the Chinese part of the Siang, which is the major contributor to the Brahmaputra flow.

Prof Sarma said it should always be kept in mind that the Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary river while planning any solution to the problems it is creating, particularly due to the developments in its upstream areas in the Tibetan region of China.

Comprehensive technical details on the magnitude of the landslides and the blockades they are creating, along with the physical dimensions of the artificial lakes, in the Chinese part of the river are not available, he said.

These can be obtained from optical and microwave satellite data products, high-resolution DEMs as well as relevant information from the Chinese authorities. Precise information on the height and extent of the landslide-induced dams could provide estimates of the water volume reflecting on the threat posed by the lakes formed on the course of the river.

In a spirit of bilateral cooperation between India and China, urgent actions are needed for embarking upon a comprehensive technical study by a joint team of experts from both the countries on the emerging problems, so that mitigating measures could be devised concerning the Yarlung Tsangpo/Siang.

The issues that needed to be covered by the team include robust fluvial energy dissipating devices, like submerged bed-sills, check dams, unclustered block ramps, etc., along with complementary measures pertaining to disaster management, said Prof Sarma.

The terms of reference of the study should focus on the fluxes pertaining to river regime mechanics, climate change-induced hydro-meteorology, terrain geology, mapping geo-seismic dynamics, etc., to evolve remedial, mitigating and adaptation measures for both the countries.

Furthermore, the joint experts� team should address pertinent issues on flood forecasting and disaster management for putting in place site-specific monitoring instrumentations for constant analyses of the aforementioned geo-spatial physical processes in the area of interest.

The joint experts� team should also facilitate instituting a state-of-the-art regime of early warning systems to be supported by multi-satellite global precipitation measuring (GPM) system, along with digital elevation model (DEM)-based hydrological modelling system for working out flood hydrographs in real time with reasonable time lag for undertaking any disaster management campaign, he said.

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�Centre must closely interact with China on the Brahmaputra�

GUWAHATI, Nov 6 - The States concerned of India�s northeastern region should prevail upon the Union government to closely interact with the Chinese authorities for seeking comprehensive technical cooperation on matters related to the Brahmaputra.

For example, the recent formation of a landslide-induced lake on the Yarlung Tsangpo in the eastern Tibet region of China had posed a grave threat to Arunachal Pradesh and Assam like the dangling Damocles� Sword.

The above observations were made by Prof Nayan Sarma, a leading river engineering expert of the country. Sarma was a former professor of IIT Roorkee and is presently an honorary professor of River Science at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

He was speaking to The Assam Tribune on the growing incidents of formation of landslide-induced dams on the Yarlung Tsangpo, the Chinese part of the Siang, which is the major contributor to the Brahmaputra flow.

Prof Sarma said it should always be kept in mind that the Brahmaputra is a trans-boundary river while planning any solution to the problems it is creating, particularly due to the developments in its upstream areas in the Tibetan region of China.

Comprehensive technical details on the magnitude of the landslides and the blockades they are creating, along with the physical dimensions of the artificial lakes, in the Chinese part of the river are not available, he said.

These can be obtained from optical and microwave satellite data products, high-resolution DEMs as well as relevant information from the Chinese authorities. Precise information on the height and extent of the landslide-induced dams could provide estimates of the water volume reflecting on the threat posed by the lakes formed on the course of the river.

In a spirit of bilateral cooperation between India and China, urgent actions are needed for embarking upon a comprehensive technical study by a joint team of experts from both the countries on the emerging problems, so that mitigating measures could be devised concerning the Yarlung Tsangpo/Siang.

The issues that needed to be covered by the team include robust fluvial energy dissipating devices, like submerged bed-sills, check dams, unclustered block ramps, etc., along with complementary measures pertaining to disaster management, said Prof Sarma.

The terms of reference of the study should focus on the fluxes pertaining to river regime mechanics, climate change-induced hydro-meteorology, terrain geology, mapping geo-seismic dynamics, etc., to evolve remedial, mitigating and adaptation measures for both the countries.

Furthermore, the joint experts� team should address pertinent issues on flood forecasting and disaster management for putting in place site-specific monitoring instrumentations for constant analyses of the aforementioned geo-spatial physical processes in the area of interest.

The joint experts� team should also facilitate instituting a state-of-the-art regime of early warning systems to be supported by multi-satellite global precipitation measuring (GPM) system, along with digital elevation model (DEM)-based hydrological modelling system for working out flood hydrographs in real time with reasonable time lag for undertaking any disaster management campaign, he said.

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