Bangladesh for talks with India on Teesta next month
Dhaka: Bangladesh is initiating a process to expedite talks with India over striking a deal on sharing of Teesta waters, a top minister has said.
Keen to follow up summit level talks in New Delhi earlier this week, Bangladesh Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen on Friday told BBC that a process is being initiated to hold the meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) in line with the decision taken by the Premiers of both the countries.
Bangladesh would prioritise striking a deal on sharing of Teesta waters, though sharing water of six other rivers will also be on the JRC`s agenda, he said.
A letter might be sent to New Delhi on Sunday in this regard, The Daily Star quoted him as saying.
The joint communiqué, issued during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s visit to India, said that a minister level meeting of JRC would be held by March. The JRC must meet before that. Bangladesh wants India to fix a date next month for the talks.
Sen said the next two months would be a lean period for the Teesta water flowing into Bangladesh.
"If the country gets water during the lean period we will be benefited," he said.
Media reports here say that the follow-up mechanism devised when the neighbours signed a pact on sharing of the Ganga waters in 1998 was not activised during the five-year tenure of Begum Khaleda Zia (2001-06).
Teesta and Ganga are among the major rivers from nearly 50 rivers that the two South Asian neighbours share.
Most rives in Bangladesh are silted for lack of dredging. At the Delhi talks, it was decided that India would help in the dredging and help refurbish the infrastructure for which it has extended USD 1 billion line of credit.
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