Teesta water sharing: Mamata proposes alternative plan to Sheikh Hasina
The one issue that has been on everyone's mind all through Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's visit to New Delhi has been the issue of sharing waters of the Teesta river.
In an effort to find a solution, West Bengal Chief Minister met with Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Rashtrapati Bhavan to present an alternate plan. But despite Modi telling the media that he firmly believes that his and Sheikh Hasina's government can come up with "an early solution to Teesta water sharing", the issue remains unresolved.
The alternate plan
Sources close to the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) have said that the alternate plan is framed in a way that it will benefit both countries. According to them, the Chief Minister prepared it after consulting various river experts.
The plan includes measures that ensure that cultivation in North Bengal is not being affected due to Teesta water sharing, while benefitting Bangladesh too.
The Teesta, which flows for nearly 315 kilometres, flows through Bangladesh for 130 kilometres. The catchment area in India is higher at 10,155 sq km, compared with Bangladesh’s 2004 sq km, making a 50:50 water sharing deal impossible. Siltation is a major problem on the Bangladesh side.
Banerjee also formed a committee comprising of hydrologist Kalyan Rudra in 2011 to apprise her about the situation. In 2012, Rudra submitted a report in which he stressed on the need to scrap multi-purpose hydro projects.
State irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee says, “We hope that both countries come to an amicable situation the issue has been pending for several years.”
Apart from Teesta water sharing issue, Banerjee discussed the issue of border infiltration and how to tackle it.