17 yrs into treaty – Bangladesh still deprived of equal Ganges water

Posted in: Water Crisis
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By UNBConnect | December 31, 2012 | Shared as educational material

Bangladesh Ganges water

Pabna : (UNB – Bangladesh is still not getting the equal share of water of the Ganges River through the Farakkah Barrage while the agreement on it will step into 17th year today (January1).

Bangladesh penned the 30 Years’ Ganges Water Treaty with India on December 12, 1996.

The comprehensive bilateral agreement was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and incumbent Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the Indian capital of New Delhi.

Though 16 years have already elapsed since the contract was signed, Bangladesh has not yet got its due share of water of the river.

According to the treaty, Bangladesh and India would get equal share of water during dry season from March to May.

While water flow at Hardinge point of the Padma River was 1 lakh cusecs in December last year, it is only 75,000 cusecs at the same point this year.

Among the 15 girders of the Hardinge Bridge, nine remain stranding on dry shoal.

The Padma is running dry day by day and shrinking to a canal.

According to Bangladesh Water Development Board, last year some excess water flowed into the Padma from the Ganges following damage at some points of the Farakkah dam.

But this year there is little scope for Bangladesh to get excess water through the Farakkah barrage as India has controlled the flow of the Ganges repairing the damaged points of the dam.

The Farakkah Barrage is on the Bhagirathi River in the Indian state of West Bengal, roughly 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away from the border with Bangladesh.

Around two communities of people of six districts surrounded by the Padma are apprehended to suffer a lot in case of less flow of water.

Bangladesh is dependent on water from the Ganges for irrigation, navigation and other purposes during the lean season (March to May).

The Ganges-Kobadak Irrigation Project, Pabna Irrigation and Rural Development Project, Panashi Project, Barind Multipurpose Project and other schemes will face serious setback as it will not be possible to irrigate several thousand acres of land under those by using high-tech water pump.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh has formed an 8-member observation team to examine the flow of water during dry season (January to May) at Hardinge point.

A two-member team from India is also due to arrive in Dhaka today (Monday) to examine the water flow. They will jointly work with the Bangladesh team. A total of 54 rivers flow into Bangladesh from India.


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