'If I could, I would have shared waters with B'desh'

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (File Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that she would have agreed to share the water of the river Teesta with Bangladesh if the situations permitted.

"They (Bangladesh) are hurt because we were unable to share the Teesta waters with them... If I could, I would have shared the Teesta waters with them... Bangladesh is our friend,” Mamata said while addressing the state Assembly.

Mamata also pointed out that former chief minister Jyoti Basu also shared the water from Faraka Barrage with Bangladesh.

The Teesta Water Sharing Treaty was supposed to be signed in September 2011 during the then prime minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh.

This did not materialise due to the last minute objection by Mamata.

The chief minister had in 2017 said that if the water of the Teesta was shared with Bangladesh, then people in West Bengal's Siliguri and Jalpaiguri would have faced a severe water crisis and agriculture would have been affected.

She also suggested that the waters of Sankosh, Torsa, Manshai and Dhansai could be shared with Bangladesh.

The water of the Teesta is significant for Bangladesh for coping with the leanest period from December to March when water flow comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from the usual 5,000 cusecs.

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