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Mamata says there will be no water to drink if Teesta water is shared with Bangladesh

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. document

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File | Photo Credit: PTI

express concern Several rivers including Teesta pose flood threat to northern Bengalcomes like a tidal wave, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reiterates her views Opposed to sharing Teesta waters with Bangladesh. She added that this sharing arrangement would leave the people of North Bengal without water.

Ms. Banerjee said it was unfortunate that the Center did not involve the West Bengal government in water-sharing discussions with Bangladesh. “People should not estimate the amount of water in the river in the summer based on how much rain it rains,” she said.

The chief minister questioned the Centre’s decision to construct multiple hydropower projects on the Teesta river in Sikkim. “In Sikkim, there are 14 hydroelectric projects on the river,” she points out.

The Trinamool Congress chief claimed that after Bangladesh and China built dams on the Atrai river, the water in West Bengal dried up. The river flows through the Dakshindinajpur district of the state.

These comments from the First Minister come nearly two weeks after Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits India. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi said that a technical team will visit Bangladesh soon to discuss the protection and management of the Teesta River in Bangladesh. Ms Banerjee wrote a letter to Mr Modi expressing her concerns about sharing the river’s waters with neighboring countries.

ALSO READ | West Bengal not negotiating water pact with Bangladesh: Trinamool Congress

During an executive meeting at the State Secretariat on Monday, the chief minister called for round-the-clock monitoring of the situation. She added that nine flood shelters have been opened in Jalpaiguri to provide relief to 500 people.

Ms. Banerjee pointed out that the state bore the brunt of rains in neighboring states and despite spending crores of rupees on repairing embankments, there was no respite for the people of the state.

She asked the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) to inform the state before releasing water from dams in south Bengal.

“If you release a lot of water at once, you’re going to have problems,” she said, calling for dams to release water in stages to help. She emphasized that the reservoir should be dredged so that it can hold more water.

Ms. Banerjee directed the state chief secretary to talk to the authorities of Eastern Railway, South-Eastern Railway, Northeast Frontier Railway and Metro Railway to ensure that there is no waterlogging on railway grounds during the monsoon season.

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