Bangladesh and India are going to hold the Joint River Commission (JRC) meeting after a decade. The 38th JRC meeting is scheduled to be held in New Delhi on August 25. Ahead of the ministerial-level talks, a secretary-level meeting is being held today (August 23) in the Indian capital city.
Sources concerned said the two countries will discuss unresolved issues of the 54 rivers flowing between these neighbouring countries – especially the water sharing of the Kushiara, and six identical rivers – Manu, Dharla, Khowai, Gomti, Muhuri and Dudhkumar.
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Renewal of the Ganga Treaty and the Teesta treaty is surely expected to be a primary concern for Bangladesh. Apart from this, the water level of various rivers flowing through the two countries has increased in the recent monsoon; so the issue of flooding in the coastal areas will also be on the discussion table.
Dhaka and New Delhi will hold a ministerial meeting of JRC on August 25 with a break of one day after the secretary level meeting today. State Minister for Water Resources Zahid Faruk will lead the JRC meeting on behalf of Bangladesh. And India’s Jal Shakti (Water Resources) Minister Gajendra Singh Shakhawat will lead the Indian delegation.
In this regard, Foreign Secretary Masud bin Momen described the JRC meeting as a positive sign that happening after a decade. Regarding the discussion in the meeting, the foreign secretary said that there are many issues regarding rivers that flow through both the countries. Those issues will be discussed in the meeting. Another thing he mentioned is, “This time during the flood, we saw that the exchange of information in advance regarding flood has given us some advantages. So that it can be strengthened in the future.” Thus, Bangladesh is likely to discuss the issue of exchanging weather forecast information between the two neighbouring countries. Masud bin Momen said that apart from water sharing, there are many other issues. The issues that we have can be resolved through dialogue.
Here to mention, the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) was formed on March 19, 1972 in an agreement between India’s then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to share water resources of various rivers between Bangladesh and India, to jointly deal with natural disasters. And, the last JRC meeting was held in 2010.