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Activists demand fair Teesta deal

  • Published at 10:36 pm March 16th, 2017
Activists demand fair Teesta deal
A Teesta water sharing treaty overlooking the withdrawal of 50%-60% water through barrages built on in the Indian side of the river will not be accepted by the people of Bangladesh, Prof Anu Muhammad has warned. “Before finalising the proposed Teesta water sharing treaty, the people of the country must be informed on what basis the treaty is going to be inked,” Prof Anu, a Jahangirnagar University teacher who campaigns for the proper use of energy and mineral resources, told a programme at Rangpur Town Hall auditorium Thursday. “If India has already withdrawn 50%-60% of the water and the treaty is on the remaining 40% water, it will go against the interest of crores of northerners including those in Rangpur,” he added. The convention, titled “Save the River, Save the Farmer, Save the Country,” was organised by the Socialist Party of Bangladesh. Bangladesh is likely to table the much-awaited Teesta water sharing treaty for discussion during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's upcoming India visit, slated for the first half of April. Prof Anu noted that a number of barrages and dams on the upstream Teesta in India that include the ones at Gajoldoba and Sikkim had already led to the depletion of the water flow in lower riparian Bangladesh. He suggested that Bangladesh need to take a strong stance instead of a submissive foreign policy “as India is unjustly withdrawing the Teesta water.” Reading out the convention resolution, he noted that not even 20% of the 500,000 hectare land brought under the Teesta barrage irrigation project in Bangladesh could avail the water because of India's unjust withdrawal of water. “About 80,000 hectare land has turned barren while about 2,642sq-km area in the northern districts eroded as an impact of the withdrawal of water,” the statement said.