Delhi ‘optimistic’ about Teesta deal

Against the backdrop of the strain in ties between TMC chief Mamata Banerjee and the Centre over Presidential election nominee, the Indian govt has said it does not expect her to put brakes on the signing of the proposed Teesta water-sharing deal with Bangladesh.

Official sources said there is no doubt that the much-awaited accord will happen and the Centre was optimistic about this, reports The Times of India.

The proposed Teesta accord is in the interests of both India and Bangladesh, the sources said adding that West Bengal also stands to benefit from it.

The government’s stand came following concerns that the souring of relations between Mamata and Congress on Presidential poll nominee issue could once again jeopardize the Teesta treaty with Bangladesh.

The accord, which is projected to be the centrepiece of India-Bangladesh relations, could not be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka in September last following last-minute opposition from Mamata and the fate of the deal has remained uncertain since then.

The Mamata Banerjee government has set up a 1-man committee headed by leading hydrologist Kalyan Rudra to examine the availability of water in Teesta, particularly during the dry season, and the quantum that could be shared by the two countries.

While the committee is yet to submit its report, the Centre is understood to be quietly trying to evolve a consensus on the signing of the treaty taking into confidence West Bengal government.

News Source:  UNB

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