India, Bangladesh hold talks on sharing of Teesta water

The Joint River Commission was established by India and Bangladesh to work for the common interests and sharing of water resources, irrigation, floods and cyclones control

As the two-day water talks began here on Thursday, Bangladesh hoped to reach an interim agreement on the vexed issue of Teesta river water sharing at the meeting being held after a gap of five years while India insisted on sorting out certain technical issues first.

“The expectation is high. We are here to grow the relations between the two countries further,” Bangladesh Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen told PTI here.

He was asked whether Bangladesh was hopeful of reaching an interim agreement on water sharing.

The ministerial-level Joint River Commission is meeting after a gap of five years here for two days to discuss the vexed Teesta water sharing issue.

Asked about India’s stand that certain technical issues needed to be settled first, Mr. Sen said he would be able to speak on the issue after meeting his Indian counterpart Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Sources in the Water Resources Ministry said while Bangladesh wants to have water sharing on 50-50 basis available at Gazoldoba — the only release point of Teesta river water to Bangladesh — India is yet to take a final call on the issue as much will depend on West Bengal Government.

There are also differences between the two neighbours on the methodology to be used to calculate availability of water in various seasons in the river to reach an agreement on water sharing.

Bangladesh Water Resources Secretary Sheikh Mohammad Wahid-Uz Zaman has said his country expected to reach an understanding at least for an interim deal ensuring equal sharing of Teesta waters this time while the two countries would be able to resolve water sharing issues related to all common rivers one by one

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