Arguing Over The Ganges

Via Bangladesh’s New Nation, an article on the sharing of rivers between India and Bangladesh.  As the report notes:

“…Bangladesh was deprived of about 21 thousand cusecs of water during the 1-10 January period this year. Under the provisions of the 1996 Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, Bangladesh was supposed to get some 68 thousand cusecs of water but received only 46 thousand cusecs, according to a report of the Joint River Commission. This happened when the Bangladesh Prime Minister was visiting New Delhi and seeking fair share of water of the Teesta and other rivers.

Three mighty rivers – the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna – have created the deltaic plain of Bangladesh, its ecology and environment. But unilateral withdrawal of the Ganges water caused incalculable damages to this natural equilibrium and led to massive siltation and drying up of the river, especially its distributaries. A process of desertification has started in the region. Salinity has exceeded safe limits threatening not only the world’s largest mangrove forest – the Sundarbans-but also flora and fauna in the mainland. This is serving a blow to the economy and livelihood of the people. Actually, cent percent of natural flow of rivers is needed for sustenance of the ecology and environment.

Since there is a treaty, water should be shared by the two countries. The river should first be kept alive by maintaining its environmental flow to harness its benefits. The treaty has provisions for review every five years but during the last decade no such review has been made. Bangladesh has not been provided with information about the availability of water above the Farakka point. India under the agreement has obligations to ensure fair share of water for Bangladesh. If Bangladesh is deprived of its legitimate share then the agreement will lose its significance and fall flat. It is expected that Indian authorities would help avoid such a consequence.”

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 16th, 2010 at 2:11 pm and is filed under Bangladesh, Ganges River, India.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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