India’s move to interlink rivers worries BD

A process on to seek explanation

Sun Online Desk

21st July, 2015 09:01:01 printer

India’s move to interlink rivers worries BD

Worried at India’s latest move to interlink rivers, the government is sending a letter to the Water Resources Ministry of the neighbouring country seeking an explanation in this regard.


 “…we cannot send any protest letter only seeing newspaper reports. We’re sending a note verbale to India seeking explanation about the objectivity of the news reports published recently in Indian media,” Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud told UNB on Tuesday.


He said the Water Resources Ministry has prepared the letter and already sent it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to forward it to the authorities concerned of India, UNB reports.   


On July 13, 2015, the Indian government announced that it would soon take up the task of connecting Teesta-Ganga-Manas-Sankosh covering three states -- Assam, West Bengal and Bihar -- and will approach the three states for their consent, moving forward with its grand plan of connecting rivers across the country.


Indian Water Resources Minister Sanwar Lal Jat said his ministry would soon be taking up the planning of a very important link, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, in consultation with the governments of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar.


“This link project won’t only provide large irrigation and water supply benefits to Assam, West Bengal and Bihar, but will also make available large quantum of water for transfer subsequently to southern states,” he was quoted by an official statement as saying.


India and Bangladesh are co-riparian countries while there are a number of common rivers. The Indian move to connect rivers came amid Bangladesh’s concerns over possible decline of water flow in some of the trans-boundary rivers shared by both Bangladesh and India.


Earlier, India repeatedly assured Bangladesh of not taking any river-linking project that would be harmful to Bangladesh, without consultations with Bangladesh government.


But, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam said the India government is yet to talk to the Bangladesh government before taking the mega plan of linking rivers across India.


As per the agreements signed between Bangladesh and India, he said, India cannot go ahead with such a move which is detrimental to Bangladesh’s interest.