By Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
India has expressed its concern over Ganga barrage mega project as it might cause backflow of water and siltation, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud said yesterday. “Now we are trying to address the problems and we can easily resolve it,” he said at a workshop on Multi-Stakeholder Engagement on Water Resources Management in Bangladesh at a city hotel yesterday. The programme was organised by Water Resources Planning Organisation and 2030 Water Resources Group of the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The minister said Bangladesh and India signed Ganges Water Sharing Treaty for 30 years and 18 years had already gone.
Bangladesh needs to complete the project as soon as possible to have sufficient positive impact of the project for both the countries so that at the time of next round of negotiation for Ganges treaty, it would be easier for Dhaka to convince New Delhi, the minister said.
Bangladesh and India share 54 common rivers. Ganges Barrage is a $4bn project and Bangladesh has sought Japanese assistance to implement the project.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali at a meeting with Indian Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati in September in new Delhi shared the documents of the barrage for their consideration.
About Teesta river, Anisul Islam Mahmud said the water flow of this river is the lowest in the current year.
Bangladesh used to have 1500 to 1800 cusec of water flowing through the river but now it came down to only 300 cusec causing serious problems for farmers in the northern region, he said.
This is an indication of the fate of other common rivers, he said.
He hoped that India would keep its promise and sign the Teesta water sharing agreement with Bangladesh.
Bangladesh and India were supposed to sign Teesta water sharing agreement in 2011 but due to strong resistance from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it could not have happened.
Source: Dhaka Tribune, Bangladesh