Khurshid to visit Bangladesh for water talks

June 14th, 2011 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, June 14 (IANS) Indian Minister for Water Resources Salman Khurshid is to visit Bangladesh soon to finalise an agreement on sharing of waters of Teesta and Feni rivers, a contentious issue between the two neighbours for nearly two decades.

Khurshid’s visit would take place on the invitation of his Bangladeshi counterpart Ramesh Chandra Sen, an official statement said here Tuesday.

“The invitation to Khurshid was extended when Water Resources Secretary of Bangladesh Shaikh Wahid-uz-Zaman called on him here recently. The visit will take place at a mutually convenient date,” the statement said.

The two neighbours share waters of 54 rivers.

Wahid-uz-Zaman was in New Delhi for the water resources secretary-level meeting with his Indian counterpart Dhruv Vijai Singh last week. The two sides concluded the framework agreement of the water sharing issue but sources said some differences had remained on the Teesta river waters.

While Bangladesh wants it to be on a 50:50 basis, India has proposed a 45:55 ratio. This technical issue is expected to be resolved during Khurshid’s visit, the sources said.

The water sharing agreement is likely to be signed during the proposed visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka for which dates have not been confirmed yet.

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