UPSC Current Affairs

Teesta Water Sharing Treaty

Teesta Water Sharing Treaty-1

Teesta Water Sharing Treaty

  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, India and Bangladesh should resolve all bilateral issues including the difference over the waters of the Teesta.
  • Sharing the waters of the Teesta river is one of the most contentious issue between two friendly neighbours, India and Bangladesh.
  • The Teesta river originates in the Himalayas near Chunthang, Sikkim and flows through West Bengal to merge with the Brahmaputra in Assam and (Jamuna in Bangladesh).
  • Rangeet River is the major tributary of Teesta River. Rangeet river is the largest river in Sikkim. Rangeet river joins Teesta river at a place known as Tribeni.
  • The river covers nearly the entire floodplains of Sikkim, while draining 2,800 sq km of Bangladesh, governing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
  • Teesta river provides livelihood to approximately 73% of Bangladesh population as per a report furnished by Asia Foundation in 2013.
  • For West Bengal, Teesta is equally important, considered the lifeline of half-a-dozen districts in North Bengal.
  • Bangladesh has sought an “equitable” distribution of Teesta waters from India, on the lines of the Ganga Water Treaty of 1996, but to no avail. (The treaty is an agreement to share surface waters at the Farakka Barrage near their mutual border.)
  • Negotiations on how to share the water have been going on since 1983.
  • A 2011 interim deal – that was supposed to last 15 years – gave India 42.5 percent of the Teesta’s waters and gave Bangladesh 37.5 percent. Bengal opposed this deal so it was shelved and remains unsigned.
  • In 2015, the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Dhaka generated expectations to take forward the issue but it still remains unresolved.
  • However, In India, individual states have significant influence over transboundary agreements, impeding the policymaking process.
  • West Bengalis one of the key stakeholders of the Teesta agreement and is yet to endorse the deal.

UPSC Prelims Model Question

Q. With reference to the Teesta river, consider the following statements :

  1. Teesta river originates from Nepal and enters to India through the Namcha Parva.
  2. It is an important tributary of river Brahmaputra.

Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

a) 1 only
b) 2 only
c) Both 1 and 2
d) Neither 1 nor 2

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