India, B’desh ink first water sharing pact in 25 years

Dhaka: Bangladesh prodded India to end the impasse over the proposed agreement for sharing of water of the common river Teesta even as a meeting between the prime ministers of the two nations in New Delhi on September 6 resulted in the signing of seven pacts.

New Delhi, however, refrained from promising Dhaka a timeline for restarting the stalled negotiations for the deal on Teesta. The two sides, however, agreed to launch the negotiations for a bilateral Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) this year itself.

The pacts inked after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina included one for sharing of water of another common river Kushiara. Though the two neighboring nations share 54 common rivers, it was the second such deal for sharing of water of one of them and it came 25 years after the first one for the Ganges was signed in 1996.

The MoUs also included one inked between New Space India Limited, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited (BSCL). The other pacts inked by the two sides are aimed at stepping up bilateral cooperation in the field of science and technology, railways, and judiciary.

“The two countries had resolved many outstanding issues in the spirit of friendship and cooperation and we expressed hope for all outstanding issues, including the signing of the Teesta Water Sharing Treaty at an early date,” Hasina said as she and Modi addressed media-persons after the meeting.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: Twitter@narendramodi)

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