India, Bangladesh discuss flood management, early implementation of Teesta water pact

New Delhi: India and Bangladesh held a discussion on flood management and early implementation of the Teesta water pact on Tuesday (March 16).

The two key issues were discussed during the secretary-level meeting of the water resources ministries of the two neighbouring nations.
The Indian delegation was led by Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Water Resources, while the Bangladesh side was led by senior Secretary Kabir Bin Anwar.

Bangladesh’s side reiterated their request for an early conclusion of the pact, with the Indian side expressing their sincere commitment and continued efforts in this regard.

Water is a state issue in India and elections in the Indian state of West Bengal that borders Bangladesh hold key to full implementation of the pact. 

The elections to the West Bengal Legislative Assembly will take place in eight phases between March 27 and  April 29, with the results being announced on May 2.

The Indian high commission in Dhaka in a statement said, “Both sides commended the close cooperation that exists between India and Bangladesh” on issues related to rivers.
India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers. During the almost day-long talks in Delhi, both sides agreed to expand cooperation in mitigation of river pollution, riverbank protection, basin management etc. A joint technical working group will provide inputs on the matter. The next Secretary level-talks will be held in Dhaka.

The talks come ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit later this month. This will be the first visit of Modi in more than a year.

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