Withdrawing Feni water allowed on humanitarian ground: PM

Staff Correspondent | Published: 17:04, Oct 09,2019 | Updated: 23:51, Oct 09,2019


Prime minister Sheikh Hasina briefs media about her recent tours of India and the US at Ganabhaban on Wednesday. -- TV grab

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her government has allowed India to lift water from Feni River to use as drinking water for people in a bordering town on humanitarian grounds.

‘There is shortage of drinking water in Sabroom, a place adjacent to Ramgarh of Khagrachari …It is inhumane to deny water when someone is asking for it to drink,’ she said, adding that people of Tripura had extended shelter for people of Bangladesh during the 1971 War of Independence.

Hasina said she could not understand why people became frustrated over the sharing of Feni River water.

The amount of water they agreed was only 1.82 cusec, which was small in volume compared to the total flow of the Feni River, a trans-boundary river shared with India, she said.

The prime minister said that she also discussed during her visit to India on signing of agreements on sharing the water of the Monu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers.

‘Steps are being taken to resolve those soon,’ she said adding that discussion was also on over the water sharing of the Teesta River.

Mentioning about the failures of her arch political rival BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who is now in jail, Hasina said she [Khaleda] forgot to raise the matters of water sharing during her visit to India.

She said the government agreed to re-export liquefied petroleum gas to India after adding value to the imported LPG in Bangladesh. 

‘We import LPG in bulk, then we bottle it and supply throughout the country according to our demand. We’ll export part of the excess LPG to Tripura of India,’ she said at a press conference at Ganabhaban in the capital.

‘LPG is not natural gas and it’s not produced in Bangladesh.’

Hasina claimed that her government was dealing things with India with protecting the country’s interests.

The prime minister was in India from October 3 to 6 on an official visit to join India Economic Summit hosted by World Economic Forum as well as on an invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

The two governments signed seven instruments, including one on allowing India to lift Feni River water, during the tour.

The two prime ministers inaugurated three projects including exporting bulk LPG to India. 

Two private companies – Beximco Petroleum Ltd and Omera Petroleum Ltd – would supply bulk LPG to north-east Indian state Tripura, according to Bangladesh officials.

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