Experts committee formed on Teesta: Mamata

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 21:50

Kolkata: With Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni standing beside her, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday announced that an experts committee has been formed to assess the ground reality on sharing of Teesta river waters between India and Bangladesh.

She also said that Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been invited to the state to attend an event.

"We have invited Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to West Bengal in a programme of Calcutta University she has accepted the invitation. I appreciate the demands of the Bangladeshi people regarding the demands of water from Teesta River. But we have some problems also. We love the people of Bangladesh," said Banerjee.

Accusing some people of trying to create controversy regarding the Teesta water sharing, Banerjee said she would be happy if Bangladesh can be provided with water.

"Some people are trying to create a confusion and controversy regarding the sharing of water of Teesta River. We would be happy if we can provide water to Bangladesh and give water from Teesta River. But the problem is that due to expansion of Teesta Barrage and four-five thermal plants there is a water problem," she said.

"I am not an expert I don`t know how much water is there, how much can be given or not. So I think that river experts are the best to give opinion on this water sharing. And see the actual condition on the field. When the treaty was not signed at that point of time only we had thought of forming an expert committee for future to review the whole situation and give us a report," she said.

The Teesta water-sharing accord could not be signed at the last minute during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s visit to Dhaka in September due to opposition from Banerjee.

"We have already made an expert committee headed by river expert Kalyan Rudra, 15-20 days back and that committee will summit the report. After that we can discuss because river experts are the best persons to give opinion on this issue and I am sure that after that there will be no confusion. We love Bangladesh. We will do as much as possible so that there is no lack of water in Bengal and Bangladesh also gets water."

"After taking the opinion of the expert we can discuss so that both Bangladesh and North Bengal doesn`t suffer from lack of water. I would request the media persons not to create any controversy regarding it as it might create problems between two countries," said Banerjee.

"This is not a political fight it is a determination and a promise to strengthen the friendship between the two countries," she said.

Bangladesh Foreign minister Dipu Moni said she had discussed various issues with Banerjee including the part that Bengal will play in the water sharing treaty between the two countries.

"We have discussed on wide ranging issues regarding the relations between India and Bangladesh and the role of West Bengal in it. I have invited Mamata Banerjee for a Bangladesh visit and we are hopeful she will be able to make it," said Moni after an official meeting with Banerjee.

Asked if the issue of Teesta water sharing had featured in the discussion with Banerjee, Moni said: "Obviously, water is an important issue in the discussion between India and Bangladesh. We have also discussed that. But as the Teesta treaty is an agreement which is to be signed between the union government of India and Bangladesh government, we have talked about the role of West Bengal in it. But I cannot talk about the internal matters between the central government and union government," said Moni.

"But we are hopeful that the coordination between the two countries regarding everything from water to other matters will continue and the ties between both the countries will go from strength to strength in coming days," said Moni.

IANS



First Published: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 21:45

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