West Bengal did not discuss the water sharing agreement with the Centre


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently went on a two-day visit to India. During his visit, he discussed the renewal of the Ganges water sharing agreement and the Teesta water sharing agreement with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is upset with that.

Mamata complained that not even a representative of West Bengal was invited to the meeting of the Teesta and Ganga water sharing agreement. However, the Center is not happy with Mamata’s allegations.

On Monday (June 24) in a meeting organized by the state government secretariat ‘Nabanna’, Mamata said that she has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in strong language opposing the Teesta and Ganga Treaty. He even warned that if the central government takes a unilateral decision without informing us, then there will be a big movement across India against it.

Mamata Banerjee’s chief advisor Alapan Banerjee clarified his position on these issues. Confronting the media workers, he said that the Center is repeatedly talking about a letter, which is dated July 24, 2023. The Union Ministry of Water Power constituted a technical committee of 12 members. One of them was of the post of Chief Engineer, Government of West Bengal. The committee submitted its report to the Central Water Commission, which was submitted to the Union Ministry of Water Power.

He also said that they are saying that the chief engineer of the state government has given his opinion. But nothing more than a couple of minor technical suggestions was sought from the Chief Engineer. The report did not reflect the overall vision of the West Bengal government.

Alapan Banerjee also said that the report contains some technical opinions of some engineers. It does not mention all the rivers flowing through North Bengal including Teesta, Atrai and the rivers passing through Central Bengal which go to Bangladesh through West Bengal. The Chief Minister’s letter mentioned several issues besides Ganga and Teesta water distribution, Ganga erosion, which were not reflected in the report.

Mamata’s chief advisor also said that after receiving the report of this committee, the Ministry of Water Power has not given any letter to the West Bengal government, nor has it communicated or discussed. It is very sad that there was no discussion by any official at the policy making level of the central government with anyone at the policy making level of the West Bengal government on the very important issue of water sharing between India and Bangladesh.

DD/SAH