DHAKA : The 38th Meeting of Ministerial level Joint Rivers Commission of India and Bangladesh was held in New Delhi on 25 August 2022. The Indian delegation was led by Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Union Minister for Jal Shakti. The Bangladesh delegation was led by Mr. Zaheed Farooque, State Minister for Water Resources. Mr. AKM Enamul Hoque Shameem, Deputy Minister for Water Resources was also part of the Bangladesh delegation. The meeting assumes significance as it was held after a long gap of 12 years, though the technical interactions under the framework of JRC have continued in the intervening period. The meeting was preceded by Water Resources Secretary-level interaction on Tuesday, 23 August 2022.
The discussions during this bilateral meeting were held on a number of ongoing bilateral issues of mutual interest including river water sharing of common rivers, sharing of flood data, addressing river pollution, conducting joint studies on sedimentation management, river bank protection works etc. Both sides finalized the text of MoU on Interim Water Sharing of Kushiyara river. Both sides also welcomed finalization of the design and location of water intake point on the Feni River to meet the drinking water needs of Sabroom town in Tripura as per the October 2019 India -Bangladesh MoU on this subject.
One of the important areas of cooperation, where India has been assisting Bangladesh, is sharing of real time flood data. India has recently extended the period of flood data sharing beyond 15 October to help Bangladesh address unforeseen flood events.
India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers, of which 7 rivers have been identified earlier for developing framework of water sharing agreements on priority. During the meeting, it has been agreed to widen this area of ongoing cooperation by including 8 more rivers for data exchange. The matter will be further discussed at the Technical Level Committee of JRC.
The Joint Rivers Commission of India and Bangladesh was constituted in the year 1972 as a bilateral mechanism to address issues of mutual interest on common / border / transboundary rivers.