Kolkata, Sep 7: The Left Front Wednesday accused the central government of attempting to go ahead with the Teesta river water sharing accord with Bangladesh without consulting all stakeholders.
The accord has been put on hold following West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s protests.
‘It is a sensitive issue and the pact can be finalised only after discussing and consulting the respective stakeholders. The matter is one which cannot be solved by only one dialogue. There needs to be several rounds of talks,’ said Left Front chairman and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Biman Bose.
‘But the central government was ready with the proposal without prior consultations. How is that possible?’ he asked.
The Teesta originates from Tso Lhamo Lake in north Sikkim, flows for virtually the entire length of the Himalayan state, then runs through Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts of West Bengal, before merging with the Brahmaputra in Bangladesh.
Controversy erupted after the centre proposed sharing of 33,000 cusecs of water with Bangladesh through the Teesta water sharing pact, which was slated to be signed during the historic Sep 6-7 Bangladesh visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Banerjee, who was to accompany Manmohan Singh, pulled out from the visit at the last hour citing unhappiness over the water sharing in the final draft of the agreement.
‘There was difference between the initial draft of the agreement and the final version. The state government had agreed on sharing of up to 25,000 cusecs. But the final version talks of sharing 33,000-50,000 cusecs,’ a source close to Banerjee earlier said in Kolkata.
Banerjee said the agreement will result in North Bengal going dry with the bulk of the water going to Bangladesh.
Kalyan Rudra, an eminent geography professor, also termed the pact as ‘hastily authored’ and said it was not in tune with the United Nations protocol for trans-national water sharing.