India-B’desh could sign pact for connectivity via all rivers during PM Hasina’s visit

India-B’desh could sign pact for connectivity via all rivers during PM Hasina’s visit

Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) with Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

India and Bangladesh are working towards signing an agreement during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s 4-day India visit from Thursday for use of all 54 common trans boundary rivers for regional connectivity and generating business.

The two countries are expected to sign a framework agreement on development and use of inland waterways for water sharing and basin-level management of trans-boundary rivers, including through cross-border trade and tourism, ET has learnt.

On October 3 and 4 Hasina will attend the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum here in Delhi while taking the ‘Innovating for India’ and ‘Impacting the World’ themes into consideration.

The proposed framework agreement to harness trade and economic benefits through inland waterways could also pave the way for a more integrated and inclusive development framework that protects and promotes the existing environmental and social dividends.

Of the 4,095 km of international border shared between India and Bangladesh, 1,116 km fall under riverine boundaries. The 54 trans-boundary rivers involve livelihood including agriculture, fisheries and tourism.

The agreements on passenger and cruise services signed during Hasina’s visit in 2017 has already been operationalised, with the first trip carrying 19 passengers from Kolkata to Dhaka via the Sundarbans early this year.

Apart from a number of agreements that are to be exchanged between the sides during the visit, the two Prime Ministers will also jointly inaugurate three bilateral projects via video link.

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