- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, August 26, 2022 : The governments of India and Bangladesh on Thursday finalized the design and location of water intake point on the Feni River to meet the drinking water needs of Tripura’s Sabroom town according to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between both the countries in October 2019.
Following a long hiatus of 12 years, the 38th Meeting of the Ministerial level Joint Rivers Commission of India and Bangladesh was held in New Delhi on Thursday last. The Indian delegation was led by union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while the Bangladesh delegation was led by State Minister for Water Resources Zaheed Farooque and Deputy Minister for Water Resources AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem was also part of the delegation. The meeting was preceded by Water Resources Secretary-level interaction on Tuesday i.e. August 23 last.
According to a PIB press communique, “The discussions during this bilateral meeting were held on a number of ongoing bilateral issues of mutual interest including river water sharing of common rivers, sharing of flood data, addressing river pollution, conducting joint studies on sedimentation management, river bank protection works etc. Both sides finalized the text of MoU on Interim Water Sharing of Kushiyara river. Both sides also welcomed finalization of the design and location of water intake point on the Feni River to meet the drinking water needs of Sabroom town in Tripura as per the October 2019 India -Bangladesh MoU on this subject.”
One of the important areas of cooperation, where India has been assisting Bangladesh, is sharing of real time flood data. India has recently extended the period of flood data sharing beyond 15th October to help Bangladesh address unforeseen flood events.
It is worthy to mention here that India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers, of which 7 rivers have been identified earlier for developing the framework of water sharing agreements on priority. During the meeting, it has been agreed to widen this area of ongoing cooperation by including 8 more rivers for data exchange. The matter will be further discussed at the Technical Level Committee of JRC.
During the meeting, issues related to the common rivers between the two countries specially the Ganges, Teesta and Dudhkumar of West Bengal, Manu, Muhuri, Khowai & Gomati of Tripura and Dharla & Kushiyara of Assam.
The Joint Rivers Commission of India and Bangladesh was constituted in 1972 as a bilateral mechanism to address issues of mutual interest on common / border / transboundary rivers.
Earlier, District Magistrate (DM) of South Tripura district Saju Vaheed A told Northeast Today that the joint technical committee of India and Bangladesh visited the new location for construction of an intake well along the Feni river in June last. The delegation of both the countries finalized the location.