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Mamata urges review of Bangladesh-India water treaty

Publication Date : 29-12-2012


The Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal yesterday once again expressed its reservations about the proposed Teesta water-sharing treaty with Bangladesh.

"National interest cannot be kept paramount by sacrificing the interest of a particular state, notably West Bengal," a statement issued by West Bengal government quoted the state's Irrigation and Waterways Minister Rajib Banerjee as saying at a meeting of National Water Resources Council.

"Accordingly, sharing and management of water of international rivers should be finalised after giving due cognisance to the views of the states and this should be stated in the National Water Policy," the statement added.

Making its stand clear on the water policy, the West Bengal government said the Indian government should consider the views of state governments in the matters of conservation, development and management of water resources while finalising the national water policy.

The Teesta treaty could not be signed during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in September last year following last-minute objections to the draft agreement by Mamata, who was concerned over its impact on the availability of Teesta water for irrigation, power generation and drinking in northern part of the state.

Mamata then set up a one-man commission headed by leading hydrologist Kalyan Rudra to assess availability of water in the Teesta round the year. Rudra last week said he had completed his studies and was ready to submit the report if asked to do so.

Indian leadership has repeatedly assured visiting Bangladeshi leaders that New Delhi had been trying to evolve a consensus on the Teesta water-sharing issue.

On the erosion issue, Mamata Banerjee's government said erosion caused by inter-state and international rivers were affecting millions of people and should be declared as a national problem.


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