106 cr. in Budget 2012 for Brahmaputra basin data from China

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In the Union Budget 2012-13 Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has made allocation to pay China for flood data of the Brahmaputra. Mukherjee proposed Rs. 106 crore for a ‘River Basin Management’ scheme. It will include restructuring the Central Water Commission and activities of the Brahmaputra Board, which has been set up for planning and integrated implementation of measures to control floods and bank erosion in the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys. Brahmaputra originates in Tibet as Tsangpo and enters India in Arunachal Pradesh.

There was lot of hue and cry recently when water level in the Siang river in Arunachal. Siang is the main feeder of Brahmaputra. Chinese hand was suspected in diverting it. There were media reports on 1st of March, 2012 quoting the statement of Tako Dabi, the political adviser to Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh that People of Pasighat town in East Siang district found that water level of the river receded so much on that it almost dried. During Telephonic conversation made by officials of Ministry of Water Resources with the State Government officials of Arunachal Pradesh, it came out that the statement may be based on the visual impression gathered from general public perception of the rivers flows around Pasighat town.

Indian Government slammed the media reports regarding drying up of Brahmaputra River. In a press release of Indian Ministry of Water Resources, the Indian Government stated that the apprehensions expressed by the state Government regarding possible diversion of the Brahmaputra by China is not correct and devoid of facts.

The Budget 2012-13 has however sought to form an institutional mechanism to address the problem. It has allocated Rs 25 crore for ‘River Management Activities in Border Areas’, which includes “charges being paid to the Government of China for receipt of flood data” of Brahmaputra along with Sutlej.



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