Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Brahmaputra Water Dispute, Course of Brahmaputra in India.
Mains level: India-China differences over Brahmaputra
Highest discharge of water in decades
- The Yarlung Zangbo (Tsangpo) was swelling with observed discharge of 9,020 cumec due to heavy rainfall in Tibet.
- This discharge from China, the highest in 50 years, is threatening to submerge at least 12 villages along the river Siang in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Hydrological experts said the unusually high discharge indicates sudden release of water from man-made barriers or a natural dam.
- Natural barriers are formed due to landslips caused by major earthquakes in the Tibetan region of China.
- Local authority has issued an advisory, warning the people of the 12 villages to be on alert because of the sudden surge in the water level in Pasighat Dist.
- The Siang has already eroded 12 acres in Borguli village while at least 10 families of Seram village nearby have dismantled their houses and shifted to a safer location.
Learning from the Past
- The risen level has indications of water being suddenly released from a natural or man-made dam.
- Earthquakes triggered landslides and dammed Tsangpo last year resulting in Siang’s water turning muddy.
- Many in India talked about sudden collapse of the earthen dam in the future leading to moderate to big flood downstream in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
- But there was no serious follow-up action.
- The turbidity of Siang’s water last year was China’s plan to divert Tsangpo to the parched Xinjiang province via a 1,000 km tunnel.
- The situation is grim, and the government needs to come up with effective anti-erosion measures.
- The Central Water Commission needs to closely monitor the level and quality of Siang’s water.
- There is a lot of concern at the international, national and local levels about the geologically and strategically important Siang that impacts Bangladesh too.