Indian officials in Delhi indicated Monday that they have not received any data from China for the Brahmaputra river this monsoon season, in violation of an agreement [text] signed between the two countries in 2013.
The Brahmaputra River, beginning in Tibet and having a southern flow into India and Bangladesh, is notorious for flooding the lower basin during the monsoon season. The river provides life to millions of inhabitants along its banks and has been a contentious issue among all three nations with vested interests in the river. International organizations have hailed [Hague Institute for Global Justice report] agreements signed by all parties in promoting a stable exchange of information and control of the river.
Chinese officials have public addressed India’s concerns by stating [BBC report] that the dam is down, “for reconstruction after being damaged by the flood and out of such technological reasons as upgrading and renovation, the relevant hydrological stations in China do not have the conditions to collect relevant hydrological data now.” This is being directly contradicted by a member of the joint rivers commission of Bangladesh, who has stated that Bangladesh has been provided the relevant data in the last months.
Groups have taken this withholding of data as a subtle jab in an ever present conflict between China and India. It is not more then a month since the two countries were able to ease tensions in a contested border dispute [BBC report] at the Himalayan border.