Water Resources Minister Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud today apparently reminded India of its commitment over Teesta saying Bangladesh awaited the draft deal on the matter to be turned into an agreement.
“On the issue of Teesta two subsequent Indian Prime Ministers (Manmohan Singh and Narendra Modi) said the draft of the proposed deal on Teesta will be turned into an agreement,” he told newsmen on the sidelines of a water conference at CIRDAP auditorium.
Mahmud added: “And they (two Indian premiers) made this commitment not in private conversation but in public statements.”
The minister declined to reply queries about possible development in the process during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming New Delhi visit saying “I cannot give you any timeframe”.
“But, I can tell you that the central government in India is sincere and they are working on it.”
The minister acknowledged there are “internal political perspective of every country over such issues, and you are well aware of this (in the case of Teesta)”.
“But we definitely want the justified share of Teesta waters not only for our agriculture but also for saving the river . . . the flow drastically declined two years ago,” he said.
Mahmud also declined to comment elaborately of the issue of proposed Teesta Barrage would be on the agenda of talks during the premier’s Delhi tour.
“When such top level meetings come, many issues may come up beyond agenda or they may be discussed superficially also,” he said.
The minister made the remarks on the sidelines of the “Workshop on Assessment of the State of Water Resources” staged by Water Resources Planning Organization (WARPO) in association with Institute of Water Modelling (IWM).
State Minister for Water Resources Md Nazrul Islam addressed it as guest of honour while Senior Secretary of the ministry Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan and IWM Executive Director Professor Dr M Monowar Hossain joined as special guests.
IWM Director SM Mahbubur Rahman presented key-note paper in the workshop while WARPO Director General Md Sarafat Khan in chair.