india-bangladesh-water-from-the-feni-river-by-india

The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh on the withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs of water from the Feni river by India.

  • The drawn water will be used for the drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura.

  • The approval will have a retrospective effect, on the MoU that was signed between the two countries during Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India.


Location of Feni river:

  • The Feni River, which forms part of the India-Bangladesh border, originates in the South Tripura district.

  • It passes through Sabroom town on the Indian side.

  • Feni meets the Bay of Bengal after it flows into Bangladesh

History of Feni River dispute:

  • According to the Indian government, there has been no water-sharing agreement between the countries on the Feni previously.

  • In 1958, the Feni river issue was taken up between India and Pakistan in 1958 during a Secretary-level meeting in New Delhi.

  • During that time, Bangladesh was known as “East Pakistan”.

Significance of Mou on Feni river:

  • Drinking water supply to South Tripura

  • Augmentation of drinking water supply in Sabroom, a border town.

  • Presently, the drinking water in Sabroom has high iron content and inadequate.

  • Agreement on water sharing on other inter-state rivers.

  • In the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) agreed upon to collect data and prepare water-sharing agreements seven inter-state rivers.

  •  Interstate rivers include Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla, Dudhkumar.

Way-Forward:

  • Improving connectivity 

  • It will solve India’s Problem of connectivity issues to Northeastern states.

  • Expedition of bridge built on Feni for hassle-free transport of goods and passengers. 

  • Interstate waterways-In line with an agreement between Indian and Bangladesh on desilting rivers and canal for low-cost navigation

  • Economic cooperation 

  • Hydroelectric power can be harnessed between both countries.

  • Can it help develop the manufacturing and service sector in the northeast?.

  • Regional water management

  • Tri-nation initiative on common basin management of the Ganges that should include India, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

  • Separate River commissions leave room for confusion, disharmony, and disagreement.

  • A provision for arbitration in order to resolve all types of disputes.

Increased cooperation between both countries is a boon until it does not affect the local population and Sundarban ecosystem which is a lifeline to people, flora, and fauna across borders. Hence, a continuation of joint patrolling of waterways and replenishing freshwater supply to the Sundarbans ecosystem as agreed upon in 2011.