Delhi, Dhaka to resume river water sharing talks

January 13th, 2009 - 3:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 13 (IANS) Bangladesh will resume after more than three years talks with India on sharing of river waters in order to augment water availability and prevent erosion. The talks will take place “soon” under the aegis of the Joint River Commission (JRC), Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen said Tuesday, Star Online reported.

“In the coming Joint River Commission meeting, the Teesta river water sharing issue will be given priority,” the minister said after holding a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty.

As the water flow in the Teesta, one of the major common rivers, in the lean season (November to May) has dwindled, Bangladesh wants an immediate agreement to save its ecological balance and get the due share.

Besides, river erosion, river demarcation and border development activities will be discussed in the meeting, he added.

The meeting will discuss how to develop a strategy to share the water of Teesta and six other rivers - Dharala, Dudhkumar, Monu, Khowai, Gomti and Muhuri.

The last round of talks took place in October 2005.

The JRC itself has been meeting since the mid-1970s, when the most contentious of issues was the sharing of Ganga waters south of the Farakka barrage in India.

After years of talks, a pact was reached in 1998 under which India committed itself to supply water from the barrage during the summer months to prevent the river in Bangladesh from drying up.

The pact has by and large worked well.

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