Centre refutes Mamata Banerjee's 'unilateral' charge over Ganga Water Treaty move: Report | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Centre refutes Mamata Banerjee's 'unilateral' charge over Ganga Water Treaty move: Report

Jun 25, 2024 07:23 AM IST

In a recent letter to PM Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee termed the decision to begin talks for the renewal of the treaty "unilateral".

The BJP-led Central government on Monday refuted Mamata Banerjee's claim that West Bengal wasn't consulted before India and Bangladesh announced talks for the renewal of the 1996 Ganga Water Treaty.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (File photo)
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee (File photo)

West Bengal was consulted over the review of the Ganga Water Treaty with Bangladesh, several reports quoted government sources as saying.

In April, the joint secretary (works) in the irrigation and waterways department of the West Bengal government conveyed the state's total demand for the next 30 years from the stretch downstream of the Farakka Barrage, PTI reported, citing sources.

The treaty will expire in 2026, but will likely be revived.

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after meeting Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi for bilateral talks, announced that the two countries will begin technical-level discussions for the renewal of the treaty.

Also read: ‘Neither acceptable nor…’: Mamata writes to PM Modi over Teesta talks with Bangladesh

In a letter to PM Modi last week, Mamata Banerjee termed the decision to begin talks for the renewal of the treaty "unilateral". She urged PM Modi to not exclude West Bengal from such deliberations.

The Centre, on July 24 last year, sought a nominee of the West Bengal government in the panel formed for carrying out an "Internal Review of the India-Bangladesh Treaty of 1996 on Sharing of the Ganga/Ganges Waters at Farakka, the agency quoted sources as saying.

In August last year, Bengal communicated with the Centre about the nomination of the chief engineer (design and research) in the irrigation and waterways directorate to the committee, it added.

Meanwhile, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying that the Bengal government made a false claim.

Also read: India offers to take up Teesta project in B’desh

"False claims spread by the West Bengal Government that they were not consulted on the Internal Review of the India-Bangladesh Treaty of 1996 on Sharing of the Ganga/Ganges Waters at Farakka," the government sources said on Monday.

Per the agency, Mamata Banerjee, at a meeting with the chairman of municipalities and municipal corporations in Howrah, accused the BJP of renewing the Farakka Treaty without any consideration of the livelihoods of the people of Bengal.

She accused the BJP of having what she called Bangla Birodhi mindset.

"Without any consideration for the livelihoods of the people of Bengal, PM Narendra Modi is in the process of renewing the India-Bangladesh Farakka Treaty. This is yet another demonstration of the @BJP4India-led Centre's Bangla-Birodhi mindset," CM Mamata said in the meeting.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra has said that a joint technical committee of the two countries will initiate discussions for the renewal of the Ganges water sharing treaty. He said that "conservation and management of the Teesta River" will also be undertaken in Bangladesh with suitable Indian assistance.

Under the Farakka Agreement, India and Bangladesh agreed to share the water of River Ganga at Farakka, a dam on the Bhagirathi River around 10 km from the Bangladesh border.

With inputs from PTI, ANI

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