When is the end of India and China’s tension with the Teesta master plan?

Last Updated on July 6, 2024 10:06 am

The implementation of the Teesta Master Plan seems to be hanging on the tug of war between India and China. The agitators want a solution through Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China. They announced that they will continue the movement until the implementation of the master plan.

According to a study by the Disaster Management Department of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, the Teesta has moved three to four kilometers away from its main flow in the last 40 years due to lack of proper action. Floods, erosion damage and the number of people who lost their homes have increased gradually.

After the Prime Minister’s visit to India, the Teesta Master Plan is again under discussion. China is also interested in working in coordination with India on the same project, breaking through various geo-political equations.

Director of Riverine People of Rangpur. According to Tuhin Wadud, it is important to complete the pending project during the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to China.

This river researcher said that China or India, or both countries should make a grand plan together. But this July it is important to clear all the planning fog.

According to rights activists, it is time for China and India to quickly clarify how they will coordinate on the Teesta Master Plan. Otherwise, the glimmer of hope around this project will fade again.

Principal Nazrul Islam Haqqani, president of Rangpur region of Save Teesta River Save Sangam Parishad, said that it is still not clear to us which part India will work on and how the whole work will be done. If this haze is removed, the people of the north will be able to dream anew.

Meanwhile, the Teesta rally has been called for the 6-point demand including the implementation of the Teesta master plan.

China is interested in the implementation of the Teesta Master Plan. A Chinese institution submitted a report to Bangladesh in March 2023, starting the feasibility study of the Teesta project in 2021. They show interest in starting the Teesta project soon. The country has also shown interest in investment.

Last Thursday (July 4), China’s ambassador to Dhaka, Yao Wen, said that China is willing to work together with India on the Teesta master plan project. We will respect any decision. We proposed this project. We are still waiting for Bangladesh’s decision.

Due to the construction of dams on these rivers, India has complete control over the water. As the dam is closed in summer and winter, there is water shortage and when the dam is opened in monsoon, the people of northern region are flooded.

Teesta is a transboundary river between Bangladesh and India. It is a river flowing through the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal and Bangladesh.

In July 1983, a ministerial meeting between Bangladesh and India concluded the Teesta River Water Sharing Agreement. According to the agreement, Bangladesh will get 36 percent of Teesta river water and India will get 39 percent. The remaining 25 percent of the water will be stored in the river. But there was no direction on how this water would be shared.

After a long time, in a joint meeting held in September 2007, Bangladesh proposed to divide 80 percent of the Teesta water equally between the two countries and reserve the remaining 20 percent for the river. However, India rejected this proposal. India is controlling the normal water flow of Bangladesh by constructing Ghazaldoba dam in Malbazar subdivision of Jalpaiguri district upstream of Teesta river in Nilphamari.

In 2011, the then Prime Minister of India. Trinamool Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee canceled the visit to Bangladesh after Manmohan Singh’s name was announced as his travel companion. The reason for the cancellation of the tour was his lack of support for the Teesta Agreement.

That is 2011 to 2024. The Teesta Treaty has not seen the light of day for almost 13 years. Even though Bangladesh has the right, millions of people of Bhatir country did not get their fair share of that water. Until 2013, a significant part of the Teesta River’s main water flow was allowed to flow into the Bangladesh Teesta, but India stopped the flow of the Teesta during the dry season of 2014.

However, recently during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that a technical team will soon go to Bangladesh for Teesta water management. Such a decision of India raises fears that the Teesta Master Plan may be suspended in the geopolitical game of China and India.

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