The meeting assumes significance as it was held after 12 years of long gap, though the technical interactions under the framework of JRC have continued in the intervening period, according to a statement released by Ministry of Jal Shakti.
In the three-day meeting, both sides also welcomed the finalization of the design and location of the water intake point on the Feni River to meet the drinking water needs of Sabroom town in Tripura as per the October 2019 India -Bangladesh MoU on this subject.
The discussions during this bilateral meeting were held on a number of ongoing bilateral issues of mutual interest including river water sharing of common rivers, sharing of flood data, addressing river pollution, conducting joint studies on sedimentation management, river bank protection works etc.
Taking to Twitter, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, “In today’s meeting, mutual agreement of adding 8 more rivers in the list was reached. Various other issues like sharing water of common rivers to sharing of flood data, addressing river pollution etc were discussed.”
“After a long gap of 12 years, the meeting of ministerial-level Joint Rivers Commission of India and Bangladesh took place today. Out of 54 rivers which both nations share, framework of water sharing is being developed on priority for 7 rivers,” he added.
The Bangladesh delegation was led by Zaheed Farooque, State Minister for Water Resources. AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem, Deputy Minister for Water Resources was also part of the Bangladesh delegation.
“One of the important areas of cooperation, where India has been assisting Bangladesh, is sharing of real-time flood data. India has recently extended the period of flood data sharing beyond 15th October to help Bangladesh address unforeseen flood events,” the statement reads.
India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers, of which 7 rivers have been identified earlier for developing a framework of water sharing agreements on priority. During the meeting, it has been agreed to widen this area of ongoing cooperation by including 8 more rivers for data exchange. The matter will be further discussed at the Technical Level Committee of JRC.
The Joint Rivers Commission of India and Bangladesh was constituted in the year 1972 as a bilateral mechanism to address issues of mutual interest on common / border / transboundary rivers.