4:32 pm - Friday September 25, 8465

Bangladesh concerned over India’s river linking project

Worried over India’s ambitious river interlinking project, Bangladesh has asked its water resource ministry to get a “clear picture” of New Delhi’s initiative.

bd-indiaA parliamentary committee in Bangladesh has decided to seek details of a renewed initiative for river linking in neighbouring India as allocation of fund afresh for the purpose visibly worried Dhaka.

“We have come to know from media that the new government of India allocated Rs 100 crore in budget to bring pace in the river interlinking project which will harm us,” chairman of parliamentary standing committee on water resource ministry Ramesh Chandra Sen told newsmen emerging from a meeting of the panel late yesterday.

He said the panel asked Bangladesh’s water resource ministry to get a “clear picture” about the Indian initiative as it appeared to be a concern for Bangladesh.

“Allocation of fund afresh for the project is a matter of concern for us,” Sen told the newsmen. Lower riparian deltaic Bangladesh is criss-crossed by some 230 rivers, 54 of them originating from India while sharing of waters in common rivers remained to be an outstanding issue in bilateral ties with Dhaka seeking agreements to ensure its fair share in the natural flow of the streams.

But the parliamentary committee’s concern came as the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 10 allocated Rs 100 crore in its maiden budget for the project initiated by the previous BJP-led NDA government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in 1998.