B'desh for full cooperation to resolve water sharing disputes

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Agartala, July 11: Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, Dipu Moni has said her country wants full cooperation from India on basin-wise management of all the common 54 rivers to resolve all disputes regarding water sharing.

"Bangladesh and India share 54 rivers and if we want to solve the disputes one by one, it would take a millennium. All the 54 rivers that are common for the two countries fall under Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin. So, we want a basin-wise management, which is not just water sharing but adopting a holistic approach regarding livelihood, new waterways, ecological and cultural issues, " said Moni, who is the former foreign minister of her country.

She was speaking to newsmen before returning to Bangladesh yesterday evening. Moni had come here to Agartala on Wednesday to deliver the key note address at a conclave on BCIM and BIMSTEC organised by a news portal tripurainfoway.com. Moni said she did not see any problem in solving the outstanding issues between the two neighbours.

"We (Bangladesh) have solid good relations with India. We have hopes and both sides are looking forward and coming closer to resolve pending issues including water sharing," she said.

Asked about access to Chittagong port, she said it would soon be opened for the people of India, particularly for those from the north eastern region.

"The way we are moving in cooperation, it would soon be offered for use by the people of India. But we have some problems in building up infrastructure and I think with the completion of the infrastructure there would not be any problem in using the port," she added.

Moni said, Bangladesh wanted a sub-regional cooperation with India, Nepal and Bhutan and to develop new routes and trades, share power, water, culture and build people to people contacts.

BCIM and BIMSTEC have initiated some processes for sub-regional cooperation which would be beneficial and symbiotic in nature for both. Regarding use of Bangladesh soil by north east insurgent outfits, she said Bangladesh has 'zero tolerance' about this.

"Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has already announced that she will not allow Bangla soil to be used against the interests of Indian people. We are zero tolerant on use of our soil by Indian insurgents," she added.

PTI

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