Bangladesh pins hope on India to resolve Teesta issue swiftly

by Abel Hampton April 13, 2017, 1:01
Bangladesh pins hope on India to resolve Teesta issue swiftly

She also spoke about West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's alternative proposal on giving Bangladesh water from four smaller rivers instead of Teesta but did not make any comment.

While Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoped for an early signing of the pact, Mamata Banerjee, who is not in favour of Teesta water sharing, said the government should look at other rivers to share water with Bangladesh. "No one will be able to stop the flow of water", she said in response to a query over Teesta water sharing, according to the Daily Star newspaper.

Referring to Mamata's no change of stand on Teesta water sharing, Menon said Teesta has no alternative to save desertification in the northern region of the country.

Speaking to the Indian business community in New Delhi, she told Indian businessmen that Special Economic Zones in Mongla, Bheramara and Mirshorai have been exclusively dedicated to Indian investors. Teesta waters are crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs.

Sheikh Hasina said, she will not commit anything wrong for the country, as was done during the BNP rule, when an agreement was signed with China on defence.

On the occasion, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dhramendra Pradhan said Indo- Bangladesh trade relations have grown in recent years.

Though an agreement on sharing of the Teesta waters was drafted ahead of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh in 2011, it was withdrawn at the last moment when Banerjee protested against its provisions.

In Hasina's case, everytime she visits India, it is a sort of homecoming for her.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that regional and sub-regional cooperation also opens up connectivity to expand the market. "But at that time Mrs Indira Gandhi immediately sent a message to us asking us come to India", Hasina said.

"We are in the downstream and thus water will come down. I assure them all facilities", she said. However, clarity on Indian participation in the Ganges barrage and Rampal coal-fired projects in Bangladesh is still at large.

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