Teesta and Feni rivers originate from the Himalayas and passes through India and Bangladesh before finally entering the Bay of Bengal. India and Bangladesh have been sharing 54 rivers.During a two day visit to Bangladesh, Manmohan Singh inked many bilateral agreements between both countries on various issues, including resolving a border row. But India and Bangladesh have not signed the Teesta accord as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee opposed the centre's decision to share 50 percent water with Bangladesh. She had stated that it would harm the interest of northern Bengal farmers.
"Right now, we feel that the water of the Teesta should not be given to Bangladesh on a greater basis, as has been the news in the Prime Minister"s (Manmohan Singh) recent visit to Bangladesh. The amount of water, which we need here, is already not enough, and on top of that if more water is passed to Bangladesh, then we will incur more loss," said Bidhan Das, a farmer from Phansidewa block.
Meanwhile, farmers were strongly opposed with the government agenda of sharing water and appealed the government to come out with a proposal in the interest of both countries.
"The fact that 54 percent of the Teesta water would be given to Bangladesh and 46 percent would be given to India is not satisfactory. The 46 percent of water in our share is not enough. So, if 54 percent is given to them, then we won"t be able to sustain in the 46 percent. It will become impossible for us to sustain in that case," said Abdul Samat, another farmer.
During PM's visit, India-Bangladesh signed many bilateral agreements which include a protocol on land boundaries and memorandum of understanding of renewable energy. The two countries have struggled to establish good ties ever since India helped its eastern neighbor to emerge as independent Bangladesh in 1971 from what was then East Pakistan.