Teesta falls to a quarter of its normal flow: Dhaka tells Delhi

As the flow of the Teesta River has hit extremely low – less than one fourth of the flow recorded between 1973 and 1985) levels seriously affecting its environment Bangladesh has written to India to ensure adequate flow of the river at the Dalia point, it is reliably learnt. In the absence of a treaty and unilateral withdrawal of water at upstream Teesta is getting dried up during the lean months in recent years.
According to available information the flow of the river during the first 10 days of January has come down to less than a quarter of its historical flow. According to records the flow of the river at Dalia point is 1644 cubic feet per second (cusec) as against the historical flow of 7010 cusecs for the same period.The leanest months of April – May are still over three months away.
Sources said, Mir Sajjad Hossain, member, Joint Rivers Commission, has written to his Indian counterpart NK Mathus, member of JRC and Commissioner (Ganga) informing his of Bangladesh’s concern with request for making available adequate and just flow to meet the requirements of the Teesta Irrigation Project.
Mir Sajjad Hossain in his letter informed his Indian Counterpart that in the last seven 10-day periods from November to the 10th of January the flow monitored at Dalia showed the flow at 8879, 4968, 3950, 3352, 2706, 2143 and 1644 cusecs.
Based on water flow data exchanged between the two countries from 1973 to 1985 the (limited) historical flow during the same ten-day periods were – 15852, 13656, 11587, 9567, 8624, 7889 and 7010 respectively.
The JRC member has been quoted to have said that reduced flow of the river has caused serious social and economic impacts on the life of the people living in the Teesta dependent areas. This has also caused seriously environmental impacts on the river itself.
Apart from more than 30 small hydroelectric dams constructed on the tributaries at upper reaches of the river, massive transfer of Teesta water takes place at the Gazaldoba barrage point from where water is taken to the Ganges above Farakka and from there further towards south. Last year there was a dramatic start of flow on the dried up river when political parties and alliances organised three successive long marches to river – News Desk