Dhaka likely to seek more info on six rivers

JRC in 2-day meet

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 00:22, Jan 06,2021

 
 

Bangladesh and India are likely to hold an assessment today on the progress on signing a framework agreement for sharing of the waters of six common rivers Manu, Muhuri, Gomti, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Khowai.

The two sides have already shared information about certain points of the rivers nearer to the borders for the years from 1996 to 2018, an official said, adding that Bangladesh requires detailed information on the ‘use’ of the waters at the upstream of the rivers.

The Joint River Commission of the two countries will hold the assessment in  a meeting on a virtual platform from Dhaka and New Delhi, official said.

The JRC started a two-day meeting on Tuesday for discussing issues relating to common rivers.

The commission assessed the sharing of the water of the River Ganges, Padma in Bangladesh, in 2020 under an agreement signed in 1996 on the matter, said the officials.

Bangladesh in five months in the lean season, from January to May, in 2020 received more water than the amount agreed in the deal, a senior official claimed.

‘We will assess whether we require more information for making a comprehensive framework agreement between the two countries for the six common rivers,’ said another official.

The JRC meeting at the level of members are expected to create grounds for a water secretary-level meeting at the earliest in compliance with the instructions generated from a meeting of the prime ministers of the two countries held virtually on December 17.

The two countries are yet to make a move for signing an agreement on sharing of the water of the River Teesta despite repeated shows of support by the top leaders from both sides.

Bangladesh and India share at least 54 common rivers and the two countries have an agreement on sharing of the water of the River Ganges signed in 1996.

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