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Prime Minister Modi reiterates India’s commitment to finalize the Teesta deal | India News


DHAKA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reiterated India’s “sincere and continuous efforts” to conclude the Teesta water exchange agreement in consultation with relevant stakeholders during his talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina.
Briefing reporters on Prime Minister Modi’s two-day visit to Bangladesh, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said the Teesta issue was discussed during talks between the two leaders.
“Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s sincere and continuous efforts to conclude this agreement in consultation with relevant stakeholders,” he said in response to a question.
“The Indian side also requested early completion of a draft to share the pending Feni River water with the Bangladesh side,” he said.
“Cooperation on river water is something that will continue … we have extensive cooperation,” Shringla said.
Currently, two countries are cooperating on 56 rivers that flow between them. Cooperation in the area is very diverse such as the use of water for drinking, irrigation and how we can work together to control floods and pollution, he said.
“We just had a meeting of the water resources secretaries of the two parties in New Delhi … It was an excellent meeting. We are meeting and we are talking about all the important issues, including the Teesta issue,” Shringla said.
The Teesta River originates from Sikkim, flows through the northern part of West Bengal, before entering Bangladesh and joining the Brahmaputra River.
The river’s flow is crucial for Bangladesh from December to March, during which the country requires 50 percent of the river’s water supply.
The agreement with Teesta was scheduled to be signed during then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011, but was postponed at the last minute due to objections raised by West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Banarjee had expressed strong reservations against giving Bangladesh a higher proportion of water from the Teesta River.

Times of India