India and Bangladesh may reach a long-awaited agreement ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to New Delhi to share the Teesta river water.
A meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC) of Bangladesh and India is going to be held at the end of this month before Hasina’s visit in September.
In Dhaka, an inter-ministerial meeting was held on Thursday in which officials from the Foreign Ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office, Water Resources and related departments attended.
The meeting also discussed unresolved bilateral issues.
An official told UNI that a JRC meeting between Bangladesh and India will take place in the last week of August in Delhi.
The meeting was supposed to be held in Dhaka but Bangladesh agreed to a change of venue on India’s request.
Although there are 54 rivers common to Bangladesh and India, only the Ganges water sharing agreement has been signed. This accord will expire in 2026.
As a result, the issue of water distribution of the Teesta river will take precedence. Apart from this, Feni, Manu, Muhuri, Khoai, Gomti, Dharla and Dudhkumar rivers will also be discussed.
The draft of the Teesta water distribution was finalized in 2011. But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could not sign it due to objection from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Sheikh Hasina is to visit India on September 6 at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She last visited India in 2019. Modi visited Bangladesh in 2021.