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Progress in talks with Dhaka on rivers

Haroon Habib

The Water Resources Ministers of India and Bangladesh will jointly visit the border areas after Id


  • Decision to make joint visit to border areas
  • India had agreed on early warning system enhancing lead-time for flood forecasting
  • No breakthrough on sharing of water

    DHAKA: The Water Resources Ministers of India and Bangladesh will jointly visit the border areas after Id for a spot survey of erosion and related problems in common rivers.

    The decision was taken at the 36th meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC), which ended here on Tuesday with "substantial progress" on contentious issues.

    Bangladesh Water Resources Minister Hafizuddin Ahmed said India also agreed on an early warning system, enhancing lead time for forecasts of floods in the Brahmaputra and the Ganga.

    India would provide information on floods in the rivers 66 and 67 hours in advance (now it is being done 42 and 41 hours ahead). The possibilities of extending the lead time further would be discussed in the next JRC meeting, to be held after six months, indicated Union Water Resources Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.

    But, sources said, there was no breakthrough on sharing of water of the Teesta and six other common rivers. India said the much-publicised river linking project would not be implemented without consulting Bangladesh.

    Mr. Ahmed told journalists that he was "happy" about the outcome of the meeting. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Veena Sikri, Deputy High Commissioner S. Chakrabarti, Joint Secretary Mohon Kumar and Chairman of the Central Water Commission Joasilan represented the Indian side.

    On Monday, Mr. Dasmunsi called on Opposition Leader Sheikh Hasina and discussed bilateral issues.

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