BD deprived of Ganges water as India violates treaty
Govt planning to enter into water sharing agreements for other 53 rivers
Bangladesh is deprived of proper share in Ganges water as per treaty
as India is not providing expected flow of water as required by the
agreement signed between two countries in 1996.
Article 2(2) of Sharing of the Ganges Waters stipulates that effort
will be made by the upper riparian state to protect the flows of water
at Farakka as per 40 years of average availability but India is
violating this provision.
Talking to The Bangladesh, Dr Ain-un-Nishat said Bangladesh is getting
waters of Ganges as found at Farakka point but supply of waters to
Farakka point is too little for Bangladesh.
He said "There are three parts in this treaty. Article-1 provides for
sharing of water as available at Farakka but my understanding is that
allocation to Bangladesh is made based on this provision. But
Article-2 (2) stipulates that India will protect the flow at a
specified level. Unless this protection mechanism is in operation the
residual flow that arrives at Farakka may not be the flow that matches
40 years average condition. In short, the flow distributed has not
been protected by India as per provision of the treaty."
Second part of the treaty stipulates that as present level of flow at
Farakka is not adequate, it must be augmented. But this aspect of the
treaty remains unattended, he alleged.
He said third part of the treaty had proposed agreement on all other
common rivers. In my view the government should arrive at sharing
arrangement or joint management plan as soon as possible to safeguard
the interest of the country.
"Had Bangladesh entered into water sharing agreement with India in
1972/ 1973, it would not be deprived of river waters now. What India
is doing now is that it is supplying residual water to Farakka to be
shared by Bangladesh as India is either withdrawing water from upper
riparian rivers or diverting water flows to other rivers within India
by river linking projects," he added.
Water Resources Ministry said total flow reaching at Farakka during
the first ten days of February, 2009 was 81,650 cusec which was lower
than the 40 years historical average flow of 86,323 cusec as mentioned
in treaty. Bangladesh was supposed to get 46, 323 cusec water but it
has got actually 41,650 cusec water in first ten days of February.
Similarly, Bangladesh is being continuously deprived of its share
despite the agreement.
However, ministry sources confirmed that the government led by Awami
League is considering entering into fresh agreements with India in
respect of remaining 53 joint rivers to share waters from those as
well but as to when such water-sharing agreement will be arrived at is
The Bangladesh Today February 17, 2009