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Daka stresses Teesta agreement according to 2011 understanding

Bangladesh today said it wants the long pending proposed Teesta agreement with New Delhi in line with the 2011 understanding between the two neighbours as top bureaucrats of water resources ministries held talks in the Indian capital.

“Bangladesh wants signing of the Teesta river agreement as agreed in 2011 for the betterment of millions of people of both the countries,” a Bangladesh high commission spokesman in New Delhi told BSS following the talks.

Bangladesh’s Water Resources ministry senior secretary Kabir Bin Anwar and his counterpart in India’s “Jal Shakti” ministry Pankaj Kumar led their respective sides in the meeting, joined as well Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Muhammad Imran, among others.

A Bangladesh foreign ministry statement issued in Dhaka said Anwar told the meeting that Dhaka wanted the proposed interim agreement to be signed in line with the initial understanding in 2011.

The agreement could not be inked at that time because of last minute reservation expressed by India’s West Bengal state ahead of the then Indian premier Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka tour.

According to the statement the top officials of the two countries also discussed issues of water sharing of six other trans-boundary rivers -Monu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.

It said they also discussed on conducting feasibility study jointly by India and Bangladesh for optimum utilization of the water received by Bangladesh under the provisions of Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, 1996.

Besides, issues related to excavation of remaining portion of intake channel (Rahimpur Khal) of the upper Surma-Kushiara project in Bangladesh, pollution in Titan river through C&B khal and Janji river at Akhaura in Bangladesh, reduced flow in the Mohananda River due to withdrawal of water in West Bengal, India were also discussed.

Both the side also talked about cooperation in common river basin management as well as flood forecasting and warning.

The meeting further discussed about implementation of MoU on withdrawal of water of Feni river, reduced flow during lean seasons in Aatri, Punarbhaba and Tangon rivers flowing into West Bengal and pollution in Mathabhanga-Churni River in West Bengal due to effluents released from sugar mills in Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh water resource secretary called on Indian union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and state minister of Jal hakti ministry.

During the meeting Anwar hoped that Indian Jal Shakti minister would visit Bangladesh soon for holding the 38th meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC) preferably this year.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)