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China-distrust means India can’t share Himalaya data for averting glacier melt disasters

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec24’23) – The government of India has decided to turn down, for now, a parliamentary committee recommendation to share Himalayan data for undertaking joint glaciology research with China, citing distrust stemming from the simmering border dispute between the two countries, reported the sundayguardianlive.com Dec 24.

The Committee’s report was quoted as saying that “in order to devise a comprehensive and coordinated strategy that could effectively address both the risk of glacier related outburst floods and water management challenges, regional cooperation is the need of the hour”.

The Narendra Modi government has decided to reject, for now, a parliamentary standing committee’s suggestion to share glacial data with China to deal with threats to melting Himalayan glaciers, their behaviour and hydrology, the report said.

It said the government’s cold response to suggestions on joining hands with China had come in response to a report filed by the House panel on “Glacier Management in the Country: Monitoring of Glaciers/Lakes Including Glacial Lake Outbursts leading to Flash Floods in the Himalayan Region.”

The suggestion from the parliament’s panel to the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has not been endorsed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

The MEA has not shown eagerness to have a multilateral agreement with China and other neighbours for sharing details about threats to glaciers. The report added that the panel was looking at a possible tie-up with China on glaciers—on the lines of the 2006 expert-level mechanism with China on trans-border rivers.

The report noted that the Modi government’s firm stand against sharing any glacial data with China had come in contrast to the Congress-led UPA government’s near-deal with Beijing in 2009 on sharing of such data.

It was wider discussions of the panel’s suggestion with the country’s defence set-up on the proposed 2009 deal which had forced its dumping as such an arrangement for glacial data sharing would have amounted to granting access to China to the upper reaches of the Himalayas that form the natural border between the two countries, the report said.


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