India, Bangladesh - Teesta Water Sharing Issue

Tags: National News

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said during the seventh round of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission on June 19 that India and Bangladesh should work together for comprehensive management of rivers.

  • The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh is on a visit to India.

  • The two ministers discussed the long-running disputes over Teesta river water sharing.

  • About Teesta River

  • It is a tributary of the Brahmaputra, flowing through India and Bangladesh.

  • It is also known as Jamuna in Bangladesh.

  • It originates in the Himalayas near Chunthang, Sikkim and flows to the south through West Bengal before entering Bangladesh.

  • It is a 315 km long river.

  • It is the fourth largest transboundary river shared between India and Bangladesh after the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna river systems.

  • Teesta is the lifeline of North Bengal and about half a dozen districts of West Bengal depend on the water of Teesta.

  • What is the dispute?

  • The river is perhaps the most contentious issue between two friendly neighbours, India and Bangladesh.

  • The river covers almost the entire floodplains of Sikkim, while controlling the lives of thousands of people living in 2,800 square kilometres of Bangladesh.

  • Teesta is equally important for West Bengal, which is considered the lifeline of half a dozen districts of North Bengal. 

  • Bangladesh demanded an "equitable" distribution of Teesta water from India on the lines of the 1996 Ganges Water Treaty, but to no avail.

  • The failure to sign an agreement had an impact on the country's politics, putting PM Sheikh Hasina's ruling party in trouble.

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