Sabroom: The Feni River, which serves as a natural border with Bangladesh in southern Tripura, are frantically hoping that the eight-decade-old dispute over the water channel will find a strong solution during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Sep 6-7 visit to Dhaka.
Border town Sabroom’s civic body chairman Shantipriya Bhowmik told that “The water of Feni has not yet been measured for technical and locational reasons. Therefore, water sharing between India and Bangladesh has not been finalised despite a series of meetings between Dhaka and New Delhi.”
Chief engineer Tapan Lodh of Tripura’s water resources department said that “Fourteen projects linked to the Feni have been at a standstill since 2003 after objections from Bangladesh affecting irrigation in Indian villages.”
However, at the 37th meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC) in New Delhi in March 2010, Bangladesh had endorsed India to go ahead with a drinking water project and 21 river protection projects involving the Feni.
According to Lodh, in the last JRC meeting, India and Bangladesh conferred the signing of a 15-year interim water-sharing treaty on 2 common rivers, Teesta in West Bengal and Feni during the dry season.
The JRC also discussed formulating a working plan on sharing the waters of other common rivers, including Dharla and Dudhkumar in West Bengal and Manu, Khowai, Gumti and Muhuri in Tripura.