Teesta water share may figure at Hasina-Modi talks: Bangla PM to arrive Delhi on Oct 3

Published: Oct 2, 2019, 10:59 am IST

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to raise the Teesta water-sharing agreement and sharing of waters of other common rivers during her talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 5 here.

Hasina will arrive India on a four-day official visit beginning Thursday. She will be here at the invitation of  Modi and during her visit a number of agreements are to be exchanged between the two sides.

This will be the second meeting of the two leaders following their earlier meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 27.

Reports from Dhaka indicate – a framework for water-sharing of eight rivers may be signed. The rivers include the Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Feni, Gumti, Dharla, Dudhkumar and possibly Teesta.

Besides, the two sides are also to deliberate on enhancing cooperation in flood forecasting and basin-wide river management.

The Teesta water-sharing agreement could not be signed since 2011 due to objections from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

India and Bangladesh share as many as 54 common rivers among them.

From the Bangladeshi point of view, the Rohingya crisis and the National Register of Citizens of India will feature prominently in talks.

Meanwhile, MEA sources said in Delhi that prior to formal meeting between two Prime Ministers, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will call on the Bangladeshi premier on Saturday morning.

There are two important events those will be attended by Ms Hasina – ‘The Country Strategy Dialogue’ organised by the World Economic Forum and inauguration of India-Bangladesh Business Forum under the aegis of business chamber ASSOCHAM.

Bangladesh may push for ‘Joint dredging’ of rivers on a pilot basis under the river basin management.

A standard of operating procedures on the use of Mongla and Chattogram ports for transporting Indian goods through Bangladesh is also likely to be signed during the PM Hasina’s visit, Bangladesh shipping ministry officials said in Dhaka, ‘The Daily Star’ reported.

Assam’s National Register of Citizens, which excluded 1.9 million people in its final list, has been considered both by Bangladesh and India as an “internal matter of India”.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen recently said, “The issue will be raised as there are concerns among some people.”

Bangladesh officials said Dhaka wants speedy disbursement of Indian Lines of Credit (LoC) as projects under the three LoCs, worth around $7.5 billion, have been facing delays mainly due to technical and bureaucratic reasons. (UNI)