S Dilip Roy: Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit, the people living by the Teesta River are hopeful that the Teesta water sharing agreement will be signed during his visit.
The people believe that the Indian premier, alike the Land Boundary bill, will show positive attitude towards the water sharing agreement.
Thousands of people live in different basins (char areas) of the river in Lalmonirhat. Most of the people’s livelihoods are dependent on the river water and their lives become vulnerable when the river dries up.
The farmers cannot cultivate crops properly as they do not get enough river water due to the crisis.
Not only the farmers but also boatmen and fishermen, who depend on the river for their livelihoods, become jobless for eight to nine months a year.
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From the month of October to May in every year, the water of the Teesta goes underground level. This season, only 300 to 1500 cusec water is flowing at the Dalia point of Hatibandha upazila of the district.
The Teesta irrigation project area gets less than 10 percent of the water but it needs to irrigate 60,500 hectares of cropland in 12 upazilas of Nilphamari, Rangpur and Dinajpur.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will arrive in Dhaka for the first time on a two-day state visit on June 6.