Teesta River Issue

  • Teesta is a river originating in Sikkim and flows through West Bengal and Bangladesh.
  • Around 83% of the river’s catchment lies in India and 17% in Bangladesh.
  • India has a higher share of about 55% of the river’s water.
  • The Teesta water dispute is the most contentious issue between India and Bangladesh.
  • However, the Teesta river water sharing agreement has not been signed due to opposition from West Bengal. (River is a State subject)
What does Bangladesh wants?
Bangladesh wants a higher share than what it gets now. It wants 50% of Teesta’s waters between the months of December and May to secure the livelihoods of its farmers and fisherman. As per an estimate of Observer research Foundation, five districts in Bangladesh face acute shortages during the dry season due to the withdrawals of the Teesta’s waters in India.
What is status of negotiations?
Negotiations for sharing of river water has been taking place since 1983. In 2011, an interim deal was proposed to be signed which allocated 42.5% of Teesta’s waters to India and 37.5% to Bangladesh. But due to WB’s opposition, the deal was shelved.

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