Bilateral International Relations Prelims cum Mains

Arunachal, Assam on alert after barrier breaches

The News

  • The Arunachal Pradesh and Assam governments readied National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF teams in districts along the Siang and Brahmaputra rivers following a report from China via the Central Water Commission.
  • According to the report, the barrier formed on the Tsangpo upstream due to a landslide has breached, discharging water at a speed of 18,000 cubic metres per second.


About Yarlung Tsangpo

  • Out of the total length of the Brahmaputra of 2,880 km, 1,625 km is in Tibet flowing as Yarlung Tsangpo.
  • 918 km is in India and known as Siang, Dihang and Brahmaputra.
  • The rest 337 km in Bangladesh has the name Jamuna till it merges into Padma near Goalando.
  • As a trans-Himalayan tributary, Yarlung is substantially fed by snow and glacial melts.




  • In the year 2002, the Government of India had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China for five years upon provision of Hydrological information on Yaluzangbu /Brahmaputra River during flood season by China to India.
  • In accordance with the provisions contained in the MoU, the Chinese side are providing hydrological information (Water Level, Discharge and Rainfall) to Indian authorities on regular basis.
  • MoUs in this connection are being extended from time to time.
  • However, in 2017 China had stopped sharing data soon after the 73-day long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops at Dokalam over Chinese military’s plans to build a road close to India’s Chicken Neck corridor connecting North-Eastern states.
  • Later in June 2018, The MoU was inked between China’s Ministry of Water Resources and India’s Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation upon provision of hydrological information of the Brahmaputra river in flood season by China to India.
  • As per the MoU, China provides India hydrological data of the Brahmaputra River in flood season crucial to predict floods.
  • The agreement enables China to provide hydrological data in flood season from May 15 to October 15 every year.
  • It also enables the Chinese side to provide hydrological data if water level exceeds mutually agreed level during non-flood season.
  • Recently, Beijing had informed New Delhi soon after a landslip took in the lower ranges of the Yaluzangbu (Tsangpo) river in Tibet Autonomous Region of China.
  • The Chinese side will closely monitor the situation, and continue to notify the Indian side the follow-up developments through bilaterally agreed channels timely.

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