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“It’s A Shame, Teesta River Deal Stuck For 11 Years”: Bangladesh Minister

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Unfortunate we couldn’t get Teesta deal by for 11 years, stated the Bangladesh minister (FILE)

Guwahati: At a time when India is attempting to present a contemporary push to bilateral ties with Bangladesh, amid China’s rising curiosity in Bangladesh, Dhaka and New Delhi are getting ready for a bilateral Joint consultative fee between the Foreign Ministers from each the edges in June, which might clear the deck for a possible go to of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in July.

But one contentious subject between the 2 nations that stay unresolved for the last decade is the River Teesta water-sharing deal.

“It is unfortunate that we could not get the Teesta water sharing deal through for 11 years. We share 54 rivers with India. We are keen on sharing and working together on joint management of all rivers. Joint management is necessary for wellbeing of people of both sides, entire basin area,” Dr AK Abdul Momen informed NDTV on the sidelines of the NADI Conclave in Guwahati.

“It’s a shame, we were ready, they were ready, yet deal is not done. In future there will be big cry for water and we have to prepare for it,” the Bangladesh Foreign Minister stated.

The Teesta river originates within the Teesta Kangse glacier and flows by Sikkim and West Bengal earlier than getting into Bangladesh. It has been mired in battle since 1947 when the catchment areas of the Teesta have been allotted to India.

In 2011, India agreed to share 37.5 per cent of Teesta waters whereas retaining 42.5 per cent of the waters throughout the lean season between December and March. However, the deal by no means went by as a consequence of opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who strongly opposed the treaty. Moreover, fixed constructing of dams alongside the Teesta in Sikkim has resulted in lean seasonal circulate draining into Bangladesh.

“Assam, Bangladesh faced floods this year at the same time, we need to collaborate more with technology for water discharge, jointly develop early flood warning systems, joint management of river is win-win for both country,” stated Dr Momen.

On media reviews of heavy Chinese build-up on Yarlung Tsangpo – it turns into Brahmaputra in India and Jamuna in Bangladesh – the Foreign Minister lamented that the “issues” of the “lower riparian state” is neglected.

“In the Brahmaputra basin, only 3 per cent is in China, in India only 6 per cent people are affected by the river, but we are the lower riparian state with 23 per cent affected people. One country alone must not develop infra on this trans-boundary river. We should look at the residents of the Brahmaputra basin together, whether it’s the Chinese development or India or Bangladesh. We all have to think on the impact on the entire basin and its people,” stated Dr Momen.

There is loads of media buzz that Bangladesh is discussing an nearly $1 billion mortgage from China for a complete administration and restoration challenge on the Teesta river. The challenge is geared toward managing the river basin effectively, controlling floods, and tackling the water disaster in summers.

The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister stated, “We don’t have a formal proposal from China on Teesta as yet, the one that China was proposing was initially was a French project, designed by French engineers in 1989. It was expensive, that time we could not manage funds. Now the Chinese are picking up one component of it, the Teesta project, but this I gather from media reports, they did not send us a proposal as of now. We have to see how it goes, because as of now India is not really not doing much to resolve the Teesta water sharing issue, that’s why they came up with a proposal, it’s a lucrative proposal,” Dr Momen stated.

In September 2016, the Bangladesh Water Development Board entered right into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Powerchina or the Power Construction Corporation of China to hold out a technical research to higher handle the Teesta for the advantage of northern Bangladesh’s higher Rangpur area.

“However, Teesta is an unresolved issue, so our people would naturally push the government to look into any fresh proposal, that many be the reason why the Chinese project on Teesta is so much talked about in media,” the Foreign Minister stated.

“We are very optimistic that India would agree to go forward with the deal, even West Bengal will agree, and we will achieve it,” he stated.

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