The Teesta River water sharing agreement between India and Bangladesh has been stuck for several decades. Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has openly opposed the deal. There are three parties to this agreement. First India, second Bengal and third Bangladesh. India and Bangladesh are ready for an agreement, but Mamta says that she will sign the agreement only after seeing the interest of the people of her state. After all, where will the path of this agreement open? This question has remained for years. In the meantime, experts have shown the path of compromise, which has shown a ray of hope. Experts say that by encouraging farmers to cultivate low-water water crops in the river valley region during the dry season, the agreement can be materialized and people of both countries can be happy.
Citing the example of ‘Boro’, a variety of paddy, experts said that it could be discouraged by declaring an attractive minimum support price (MSP) for other varieties of dried grains. In such a situation, the farmers will move towards less water consuming crops and there will be a decrease in demand for water. The Teesta Agreement was to be signed between India and Bangladesh in September 2011, but it was deferred after Mamata’s objection at the last minute.
Observer Research Foundation (Kolkata) director Neelanjan Ghosh says that the demand for water has increased due to the increase in area under irrigation based paddy crop in areas adjacent to Teesta water area. With the decrease in water flow, there is a growing controversy over the sharing of water. ‘Boro’ paddy requires about 1,800-2,800 millimeters of water, which is 10 times more than dried grains like Sorghum or Ragi. About 83 percent of the total area of the river valley is 1,24,040 square kilometers.
River expert Jayant Banerjee believes that if farmers continue to cultivate high water crops without understanding the resources, then this will increase controversy, in this case there is also vote bank politics and hence the central and state government does not want to discourage the cultivation of Boro paddy Huh. In such a situation, it is necessary for both Bengal and Bangladesh to implement this path to settle this dispute.
India’s strategic interests are also behind the Teesta River water sharing agreement. If this treaty fails, Bangladesh policies and actions will affect the region. Bangladesh’s economic disaster will also increase the problem of refugee and illegal infiltration in India. In addition, if the Sheikh Hasina-led government of Bangladesh succeeds in making this agreement, the voice of the radical group will be subdued there. Obviously this agreement between the two countries can establish a long-term cordial relationship.