India-Bhutan Cooperation

During 1955, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Government of India had sponsored a scheme for the purpose of flood warning measures in India. Accordingly, 19 Nos. of rain gauge stations and 8 Nos. of wireless stations were set up under the control of MEA and subsequently handed over to Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB). In July 1979, it was decided that a separate scheme may be drawn for setting up flood forecasting system on rivers common to India and Bhutan run by Ministry of Water Resources in Bhutan for the development of mutual cooperation between the two countries in the field of Hydro-meteorological data collection and flood forecasting activities on rivers common to India and Bhutan. Accordingly, the network was expanded to include more stations on common rivers under the funds provided by Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India.

A scheme titled “Comprehensive Scheme for Establishment of Hydro-meteorological and Flood Forecasting Network on rivers Common to India and Bhutan” is in operation. The network consists of 32 Hydro-meteorological/ meteorological stations located in Bhutan and being maintained by the Royal Government of Bhutan with funding from India. The data received from these stations are utilized in India by the Central Water Commission (CWC) for formulating flood forecasts. A Joint Expert Team (JET) consisting of officials from the Government of India and Royal Government of Bhutan continuously review the progress and other requirements of the scheme. Joint Expert Team (JET) on Indian side is led by Chief Engineer, (B&BBO), CWC, Shillong, a Joint Secretary Level Officer. The 31st JET meeting was held at Paro, Bhutan in Dec, 2015 since its reconstitution in 1992.

The matter relating to problem of floods created by the rivers originating from Bhutan and coming to India was taken up with the Royal Government of Bhutan. A Joint Group of Expert (JGE) on Flood Management has been constituted between India and Bhutan to discuss and assess the probable causes and effects of the recurring floods and erosion in the southern foothills of Bhutan and adjoining plains in India and recommend to both Governments appropriate and mutually acceptable remedial measures. JGE on Indian side is led by Commissioner (B&B), MoWR, RD & GR, a Joint Secretary level officer. The sixth meeting of JGE was held in Feb, 2016 at New Delhi, India. 

In accordance with the decision taken during the first meeting of JGE, a Joint Technical Team (JTT) on Flood Management between the two Countries was constituted. JTT held its first meeting in April, 2005 and submitted its report in January, 2006. The report of JTT was considered in the 2nd meeting of JGE. JGE reconstituted JTT with Chief Engineer, CWC, Shillong, a Joint Secretary Level Officer as its team leader (Indian Side). The fourth meeting of JTT was held in Siliguri, India in January, 2016.

Last Updated on:07/06/2016
Last Updated By :BB