Treaty on Teesta should cover basinwide management

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said one day before his departure for New Delhi that Bangladesh wants to hear positive news on Teesta water sharing and simultaneously continue the discussion on water sharing of other common rivers. The Bangladesh Foreign Secretary was talking to journalists on foreign office consultations (FOC) of the two countries on January 29. He was also scheduled to finalising the details of Indian Premier Narendra Mody’s visit to Bangladesh in March to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.
International Farakka Committee (IFC) an environmental and water rights watch group has welcomed this statement aimed at further strengthening the relations between the two friendly countries and said that agreements on basinwide water management of the common rivers flowing through India and Bangladesh to keep those alive is now a demand of the time.
Bangladesh and India should strive to keep the common rivers alive from their points of origin in the mountains to their outfalls in the sea and adopt the universally accepted formula of basinwide water management. They should come out of the faulty notion of water sharing at border and opt for integrated management of the natural water systems by earmarking minimum 30 percent of average flow for their own survival. The formula of water sharing at border did not succeed in the case of the Ganges, IFC pointed out.
And since both the countries are talking about bilateral treaties, such documents should, like and Indus and the Mohakali treaties, have provisions for guarantee of minimum flow and mutually acceptable arbitration to resolve differences of opinion about their implementation. Because of these two provisions the Indus Treaty survived wars between Pakistan and India, and the Mohakali Treaty between Nepal and India has proved stable.
Signing of comprehensive basinwide water management treaties would also create conditions conducive to either country extending help to the other country in their internal water management efforts. The statement was signed by Atiqur Rahman Salu, Chairman and Sayed Tipu Sultan, Secretary General, IFC New York; Prof. Jasim Uddin Ahmad, President and Dr. SI Khan, Senior Vice Presient, IFC Bangladesh; and Mostafa Kamal Majumder, Coordinator of IFC.