Bangladesh raises pitch on Teesta river dispute | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh raises pitch on Teesta river dispute

India’s plans to carry out construction work on some rivers that share borders with Bangladesh might have received a setback with the neighbouring country resolving to block all proposed projects till the Teesta river water dispute is settled, reports Manish Tiwari.

delhi Updated: Jan 03, 2010 00:54 IST
Manish Tiwari

India’s plans to carry out construction work on some rivers that share borders with Bangladesh might have received a setback with the neighbouring country resolving to block all proposed projects till the Teesta river water dispute is settled.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been briefed on the Teesta dispute and the issue is likely to be on the agenda when Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meets him in New Delhi on January 11. Ahead of Hasina’s visit, an Indian team led by Water Resources secretary U.N. Panjiar left for Bangladesh on Saturday.

However, a top Indian official who visited Bangladesh last December to hold negotiations on the issues said, “They told us that if India didn’t agree to their on sharing Teesta waters, they won’t discuss other riverwater issues.” But the demands are “unrealistic and anti-India”, he added.

India had been demanding that Bangladesh agree on implementing three projects: dredging and desiltation of river Ichhamati, a project on River Feni to supply water to Sabroom in Tripura and construction of embankments on other rivers. A Water Resources Ministry official said Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna had agreed on the issues during talks in September.

However in the December talks, Bangladesh was cold to India’s proposal of carrying out “joint hydrological observations” downstream of the Bangladesh Barrage, especially at Kaunia and Teestamukh rivers. “With Bangladesh seeking to link the issues with Teesta water sharing, all previous discussions came to a standstill,” the official said.