Haven't received hydrological data from China, says India
New Delhi: India has not received hydrological data from China this year despite an agreement, the external affairs ministry said on Friday but maintained that it was "premature" to link it with the recent floods in some parts of the country. The development comes in the backdrop of the ongoing standoff between Chinese and Indian troops in Dokalam in Sikkim sector.
Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar also did not confirm whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to China next month to attend Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) summit, saying he does not have any information about it.
Asked about the current status of the standoff, he said, "It is a sensitive issue... We will continue to engage with China to find mutually acceptable solution. Peace and tranquillity in border areas are important pre-requisites for smooth development of bilateral relations."
However, he quipped, "I am not an astrologer, so cannot predict", when asked by when the Dokalam standoff will be resolved.
Asked if China has shared hydrological data with India in the backdrop of floods in Assam, Kumar said there is an existing expert-level mechanism, established in 2006, and there are two MoUs under which China is expected to share hydrological data on rivers Satluj and Brahmaputra with India during the flood season of May 15 to June 15.
"For this year, we have not received hydrological data from the Chinese side," the spokesperson said.
However, he added that it was "premature" to link it with the floods in Assam as there can be "technical reasons" behind China not sharing the data.
He also noted that in view of floods in Bihar, India was closely coordinating with Nepal, both at Centre and state- level.
Asked about the reported comments of the Japanese Ambassador on Dokalam face off and if India welcomes it, Kumar gave a very guarded reaction, saying the remarks speak for themselves.
The Japanese ambassador was quoted in media as saying that no country should use unilateral forces to alter the status of Dokalam.
"We recognise Dokalam is a disputed area between Bhutan and China and two countries are engaged in border talks... We also understand that the India has a treaty understanding with Bhutan that's why Indian troops got involved in the area," the ambassador had reportedly said.