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Bangladesh for joint river basin management

By The Assam Tribune

AGARTALA, Jan 29 - Bangladesh is in favour of setting up of a joint basin management system for common rivers, a top diplomat said today, claiming water-sharing remains a �sensitive� issue between the two countries despite their relations reaching a new height.

�Our relation has reached at its height and we want to resolve all our problems through understanding. Although maximum issues have been solved, water-sharing still remains a sensitive one and we want a common basin management system for sharing of waters of common rivers,� Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said here.

He said Bangladesh was in favour of a �win-win situation� for equitable share of the common rivers as the country was facing the crisis of water and the rivers were drying up.

�This is also a fact that whatever water we get, we cannot make proper utilisation. We want a better understanding for use of water and a common basin management system can help both the countries,� he said, reiterating that the relations between the two countries have touched a new horizon.

�Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has said that since 1974, the relations between our two countries are the best now. It is the golden era of India-Bangladesh relation,� said Ali, former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh.

To a question, Ali said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had already expressed her keenness to restore all communication channels that existed between the two countries before the Indo-Pak War in 1965, besides creating new points.

Ali said connectivity between the two countries needs to be enhanced and the neighbours should be widely connected through roads, railways and waters for a better trade and communication between the people of the two countries.

Regarding access to the Chittagong port, Ali said Hasina had already declared that a consortium between the neighbours could be formed for better use of the port and India would not have any problem in using the port.

Ali, who is also a �liberation warrior�, said the people of Tripura made immense contribution during the 1971 war and Bangladesh would always remember it.

Tripura accommodated more than 15 lakh refugees from the neighbouring country in 1971, which was more than the State�s actual population that time. � PTI

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