A woman prepares to take a dip in a polluted canal flowing into the Ganges river during a religious procession in Kolkata. Photo: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
New Delhi: India and Bangladesh have agreed to expand cooperation across the entire gamut of water resources issues, including framework for sharing of river waters, mitigation of pollution, river bank protection, flood management, basin management, according to an official statement on Wednesday.
The India-Bangladesh water resources secretary level meeting under the framework of the joint rivers commission took place on March 16 here.
The Indian delegation was led by Pankaj Kumar, secretary (water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation). The Bangladesh delegation was led by Kabir Bin Anwar, senior secretary, ministry of water resources.
Noting that India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers which directly impact the livelihood of people in the two countries, both sides commended the close cooperation that exists between them in the matter.
“Both sides agreed to expand cooperation across entire gamut of water resources issues including framework for sharing of river waters, mitigation of pollution, river bank protection, flood management, basin management, etc.,” the statement said.
A joint technical working group will provide inputs on the matter. The discussions were substantive and held in a cordial atmosphere, it added. The meeting took place ahead of prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh later this month.
On Tuesday, sources said, the two sides discussed sharing waters of the Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dudhkumar and Dharla rivers. Discussions also took place to further cooperation in the area of flood forecasting, they added.
Both sides also agreed to schedule the next secretary-level meeting in Dhaka on mutually convenient dates.