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BD-India JRC ministerial-level meeting begins this afternoon

25 August 2022, 2:06:08

After a long 12 years break, the ministerial-level meeting of Bangladesh India Joint River Commission (JRC) is going to be held here this afternoon to discuss water management issues between the two neighbours.

India’s Jal Shakti (Water Resources) Minister Gajendra Singh Shakhawat and State Minister for Water Resources of Bangladesh Zaheed Farooque will lead their respective sides in the 38th JRC ministerial-level meeting.

Deputy Minister of Water Resources of Bangladesh AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem will also join the meeting.

The meeting would be held at Sushma Swaraj Bhaban in New Delhi after lunch when the two sides will finalize some issues which are remained pending for long, sources familiar with the development told BSS today.

They however, hinted that related aspects would be finalized in today’s meeting but documents are likely to be signed during the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s India visit in early next month.

When asked diplomatic sources said a joint statement is likely to be issued after the meeting.

Meanwhile, the secretary-level meeting of JRC was held here on Tuesday. The officials of the two countries had a threadbare discussion on sharing of water and other issues, meeting sources said.

Sources earlier said the two sides are expected to finalize a joint study on utilization of Ganges water and an agreement of withdrawal of water from Kushiyara river in today’s meeting.

They added that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on sharing of data on the flow of water in the rivers flowing in India’s North-East region would also be finalized in the meeting.

Bangladesh Water Resources Ministry earlier said that Bangladesh side would raise the long-awaited Teesta issue in the meeting apart from finalizing a framework agreement on six common rivers- Monu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla and Dudhkumar.

Besides, issues relating to renewal of Ganges water sharing treaty would also be discussed prominently in the meeting.

The 30 years-long landmark Ganges water sharing agreement between Bangladesh and India was signed in 1996 during the regime of Awami League government. The tenure of the agreement will end in the year of 2026.

India and Bangladesh so far inked only Ganges Water Sharing agreement although they share 54 trans-boundary rivers. The last ministerial-level JRC ministerial meeting was held in March 2020.

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