India bangladesh ministerial meet on water sharing

No ministerial-level JRC meeting in 8 years |

There are 54 common rivers between Bangladesh and India. Of the 54 rivers, India had signed only one treaty in for the water of the. management; water-sharing with the upper riparian; internal water-resources management and the special reference to Bangladesh and Indian water disputes. . In the South-West, Ganges Padma, and Brahmaputra meet with . occasions, especially when the water resource minister of Bangladesh was invited. n Deve Gowda, of Bangladesh and India, respectively, signed a treaty in New. Delhi on the .. seventh Islamic Foreign Ministers' Conference at Islamabad, and.

In February, Kaustuv Chakrabarti, a programme officer with the NGO Participatory Research in Asia, travelled to Dhaka and Ashuganj to assess the impact of four of the projects that have been completed under the first line of credit. Therefore, the similar context between India and Bangladesh should be a big advantage for Indian development aid. These projects include upgradation of the ports of Payra, Chittagong and Mongla, making more roads four lane, airport upgradation and increasing railway lines.

Till a few years ago, war games fought by Bangladesh defence personnel usually had an opponent which had an uncanny similarity to India. The military institutions set up after Bangladesh got independence were established by Pakistan-trained officers, which influenced their structure.

The Indian army chief had himself asked his counterpart in to modify these table-top war games to not make the enemy synonymous with India. Therefore, while Bangladesh has been sending an increasing number of military personnel to India for training, Dhaka still looks towards Beijing for technical training to use Chinese defence platforms. In toto, four defence-related agreements were signed, which include a defence framework pact and two MoUs between defence colleges.

To appeal to sentiment, India also stressed the need for a defence relationship through the prism of the war of independence. This was explicitly underlined in the joint statement: The Indian prime minister had also talked about Pakistan during his visit, where he had explicitly named the South Asian country.

Pakistan had then seized on his remarks to claim that it proved that India was behind the splitting up of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Dhaka is also facing the threat of transnational terror groups, with both al-Qaeda and ISIS having trying to create a presence.

Power and connectivity Along with transport connectivity, India and Bangladesh are also bound through power and fuel links. Bangladesh already draws megawatt from the Indian grid, with another megawatt to added through the Bheramara-Bahrampur inter-connection. The two countries have agreed on a power evacuation scheme between Assam and Bihar, from which Bangladesh can draw MW power supply through tapping points at Parbatipur.

Discussions have also begun for additional supply of megawatt from NTPC stations. One of the transport links that the two premiers remotely launched was the delivery of a diesel consignment, which is the harbinger of a much closer relationship on fuel supply. India his already constructing a Indo-Bangla friendship pipeline from Siliguri to Parbatipur for supply of high speed diesel as a grant-in-aid.

As the discussion ended in a deadlock, India came forward with a friendship treaty with Bangladesh to resolve the issue. As part of friendship treaty after many discussions, both nation devised an Interim agreement for a brief period, that 21 April to 31 May In this agreement Bangladesh was entitled with more water than India. But the agreement came to an end exactly on 31 May adversely affecting Bangladesh.

Term of Zia Ur Rahman in Bangladesh made the negotiations process more troubling. As staunch believer in Democracy and peace, India might have lost its faith in Bangladesh owing to military coup and bloodshed that happened in Bangladesh and subsequent assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Ultimately Bangladesh tried to internationalize the issue by raising this issue in many International forums such as, Economic and Social commission for Asia Pacific.

India- Bangladesh Water sharing Disputes | Akhila Subash -

Talks on water sharing dispute resumed and finally met the goal with a 5 year treaty that came out as a result of discussion between Desai and Zia in London during Commonwealth head of government meeting. India lost its power to take decisions unilaterally.

Treaty was much criticized in India for its leniency towards Bangladesh. But Morarji Desai had shown the courage to reveal the power of diplomatic negotiations in resolving a dispute. Bangladesh witnessed a transition of power from Zia after his assassination, through a military coup without a bloodshed. Talks continued where both nations stood firm on water augmentation.

Bangladesh tried to convince the proposal for storage facilities in Nepal as a method to augment water in the river Ganges.

But at the Indian end, they took it as an attempt to regionalize the issue and opposed. An interim MoU again considered the issue and suggested to JRC to come forward with proposals to augment water flow. Apart from some MoUs and official and ministerial meeting, attempt to resolve the dispute with a long term treaty remained as a mirage during Rajiv Gandhi Era.

Political vacuum in Bangladesh before election after resignation of general Ershad halted further progress. Khalida Zia government was more hostile in approach towards India. Despite criticism from the home government and Party, Sheikh Hasina preferred to find a solution by bilateral negotiations rather than internationalizing the issue. India also reciprocated the commitment and resulted in the much awaited treaty.

Ganges Water Sharing Treaty The treaty composed of 12 clauses and 2 annexes. It was prepared based on the data available on quantity and flow water over past 40 years According to the treaty water should be shared among both nations in a cycle of 10 days in lean period.

In case of such reduction, only cusecs can be reduced. Article 4 requires setting up of a joint commission for implementation, monitoring and grievance redressal regarding sharing of water. Joint commission should have equal members from both countries. Joint river commission, as per Article 7 mediates in problems which joint commission is unable to resolve. Ultimately discussions at government level suggested to solve the deadlock.

Indo-Bangladesh Cooperation

Teesta River Teesta that origins in the Dzongu glacier of Sikkim is the backbone of irrigation in Bangladesh during the lean season, December to May. This fastest river in India has exceptional scope in Hydro power generation, thus it act as the life blood for power generation for north eastern states.

It irrigates a large area of West Bengal as well. Tensions started when West Bengal government started construction of a barrage in Teesta River. But Bangladesh stood against the project in fear of adverse impact on its agricultural fields of their highly productive areas. India and Bangladesh reached in an ad hoc treaty in but Bangladesh opposed the treaty for an equal distribution of water among both countries, as they wanted a lionshare. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee opposed further favorable decision to Bangladesh on account of the Teesta barrage that built on Teesta River in by Bangladesh, arguing that it is sufficient for their needs.

Sharing the water of the Ganges

Political interests of state and union government hampered early conclusion of a mutually acceptable treaty. But Mamata Banerjee, the major support to UPA government withdrew their support due to probable adverse effect that can afflict on West Bengal agriculture. The water sharing dispute slowly changed its nature from an international dispute to a State-Centre political tug of war.

Bangladesh claims a leniency towards them while concluding a treaty because of the high population in Teesta river basin in comparison with west Bengal and Sikkim. Gazaldoba barrage of west Bengal and dams constructed in Sikkim also reduces the flow of water to Bangladesh in lean time that affects the agriculture. Farmers thinks that an equal sharing may put West Bengal agriculture at risk. Teesta water dispute is not resolved yet. The Land boundary agreement and exchange of enclaves spreads much hope in this direction to find a win- win solution.

Observations and conclusion Water is a basic necessity of life.

Each and every nation considers water as a crucial element in their development as a power. A water scarce country would always lag behind in overall development and growth in the international system. India considered River Ganga as its own river rather than an international water due to its inseparable relation to Indian culture, heritage and traditions. Ganges water dispute revealed the international nature of Ganges River.

Political interests always affects constructive talks between nations adversely. Negotiations between nations in both disputes witnessed deadlocks because of this.

Lack of real time data regarding the quantity and flow of water resulted in an unscientific conclusions and subsequent controversy.

Many times interim treaties concluded based on old data that entirely different from current data. While accepting data, the recent facts such as Climate change, over use by preceding states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar in case of Ganges and Sikkim in case of Teesta, pollution should be considered for a better solution.

Teesta river dispute should be resolved through a committed and constructive approach from both sides as witnessed in Ganges issue. Finding solution for water sharing dispute can lead to a multipronged result. Bangladesh is an essential element for India to get connected with north east Use of Chittagong port for industrialization in NE states and West Bengal is also a factor.

By consolidating relations through resolving existing disputes, benefits India and catalyze mutual progress for both in neighborhood and favors for co- operation in regional level. The proposal for quadrilateral Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and India mainly aims NE parts economic cooperative frame work outside SAARC was a reciprocation of treaty that enhanced confidence in neighborhood. Water diplomacy is not a single structure for India to deal with.