Top officials of the water resources ministries of India and Bangladesh met here on Tuesday to discuss issues related to river water-sharing and flood forecasting and to enhance cooperation on controlling pollution in trans-boundary water bodies, sources said.
The Indian delegation was headed by Jal Shakti Ministry secretary Pankaj Kumar, while senior secretary Kabir Bin Anwar led the Bangladeshi side.
The meeting took place ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh later this month.
Sources said the two sides discussed sharing of waters of the Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dudhkumar and Dharla rivers.
Discussions also took place to further cooperation in the area of flood forecasting, they added. It included talks on cooperation over flood forecasting of the Atrai, Punarbhaba and Tangon rivers that enter India from Bangladesh.
A system of transmission of flood forecasting data on major rivers like the Ganga, Teesta, Brahmaputra and the Barak during the monsoon season from India to Bangladesh already exists.
“Discussions also took place on controlling pollution of trans-boundary rivers. On its part, Bangladesh pointed out the issue of pollution in Akhaura canal,” a source added.
The Akhura canal takes waste from Agartala city and flows into Bangladesh, sources said.
They added that discussions also took place on drawing of water from the Feni river for Sabroom town in Tripura.
India and Bangladesh have a robust mechanism in place to address water issues at different levels. An Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) is functioning since 1972. It was established with a view to maintain liaison in order to ensure the most effective joint effort in maximising the benefits from common river systems.
This enables meetings at the levels of ministers, secretaries and technical experts.
The next meeting will take place in Dhaka, sources added.