When a journalist asked our honourable PM about the recent Feni river deal with India which has become a recent controversy in the country raising concerns about our government’s commitment to the country among the masses, she asked every journalist a question regarding the location of Feni river . She tried to get away from the question by making the average citizen look like they are ignorant regarding this issue.
First of all, let’s answer her question. Feni river is located in southeastern Bangladesh. The river enters into our country through the town of Sabroom. The river originates in the district of Tripura. India, according to the treaty/agreement, will be able to withdraw 51.54 litres of water per second. Our PM, – and in few interviews our foreign minister – went on to site humanitarian reasons behind this very generous gesture from Bangladesh with regards to this particular river.
There are various issues with the treaty. Firstly even before the treaty, India has been taking water from this river via thirty pumps which they had placed previously, depriving people on our side of the river. Whereas we have only three pumps placed in the river and our people have not been able to receive the water, unfortunately.
Journalists from BBC Bangla have been on the ground and spoke to people who live by the Feni river and not a single person they interviewed was happy about the agreement while many experts from our side claim this deal won’t have a significant effect on us.
One cannot remain silent but ask why are we allowing ourselves to not receive equal treatment from India when we have shown more commitment in this ‘friendly’ relationship? Teesta deal has not been resolved yet. A lot of people in our country depend on the Teesta river for their livelihood and we are yet to strike a good deal. Our side of the river has dried up which is sad to say the least.
However to be fair, credit goes to our PM for working out a fair deal for proper distribution of waters from seven of our rivers. Manu, Khowai, Muhuri, Gomati, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Teesta.
India had not and is not reciprocating our humanitarian gestures. Examples include scores of border killings by BSF armies perpetrated on harmless Bangladeshi farmers and the most famous Felani controversy have only proved how callous India has been with regards to Bangladesh.
Billah, M (2019, October 6) How will Feni river water withdrawal impact Bangladesh? https://tbsnews.net/opinion/how-will-feni-river-water-withdrawal-impact-bangladesh
BBC Bangla report on Feni deal
Nasif Ferdaus Ahad – York university, Toronto, Ontario