India expresses optimism on Teesta water deal with B`desh

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 22:50

Dhaka: India on Tuesday expressed optimism over
the much-awaited Teesta water sharing deal with Bangladesh as
it underlined that the two neighbours enjoyed "best ever"
relationship and there was no need for "despair".

"If we can strike a deal on Ganga River, why not a deal
on Teesta? I don`t see any sense of despair on it," said
Sanjay Bhattacharyya, the India`s Acting High Commissioner to
Bangladesh.

He underlined India`s willingness to sign a deal on water
sharing from the common Teesta River.

Speaking at the launch of a book on Indo-Bangla relations
by journalist Haroon Habib, Bhatacharya said the two countries
have been enjoying the "best ever" relationship.

Bhattacharyya said "very large" number of steps have been
taken to improve the ties in last three years.

The envoy asked the people not to be "pessimist" and
stressed the need to push the leadership of both the countries
to come closer.

Bangladesh was expected to sign the water sharing deal
with New Delhi during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s
Dhaka visit in September last year. India and Bangladesh
signed a historic agreement on demarcation of land boundary
and exchange of 162 adversely-held enclaves, but no deal was
inked on sharing of Teesta and Feni river waters.

All technicalities of an agreement on Teesta river were
settled but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s
disagreement had led to the cancellation of the deal.

An angry Dhaka refused to ink the proposed transit
agreement with India.

However, Bhattacharyya said the biggest achievement in
Indo-Bangla relationship was the "unity" of the top political
leadership to work "together" to solve all major outstanding
problems such as border demarcation, exchange of enclaves and
adversely possessed lands and singing of land boundary
agreement.

"What we could not achieve in 40 years has been done in
two years," he claimed at the function also attended by Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina’s foreign affairs advisor Professor
Gowher Rizvi.

The envoy`s comment came a day after Jatya Party chief
and former president HM Ershad, a key ally of the ruling Awami
League, criticized the government for not being able to "deal
with India" on the Teesta river issue.

He alleged that the government advisers were serving
"Indian interest".

"If we (Bangladesh) do not get the due share of the
Teesta, we will not give them (India) the transit facility," he told a rally in southern Bangladesh.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - 22:50

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