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Kushiyara River treaty between India and Bangladesh

  • Published
    12th Sep, 2022
Context

During Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India, the two sides signed a slew of agreements, including the first water sharing agreement since the landmark Ganga Water Treaty, 1996.

About

About Kushiyara agreement:

  • A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on sharing of the waters of the Kushiyara river, a distributary of the Barak river which flows through Assam, and then on to Bangladesh. 
  • The agreement is aimed at addressing part of the problem that the changing nature of the river has posed before Bangladesh
  • River unleashes flood during the monsoon and goes dry during the winter when demand of water goes up because of a crop cycle in Sylhet.
  • Under the agreement, Bangladesh will be able to withdraw 153 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Kushiyara that will solve the water crisis for farmers of Sylhet.

Kushiyara river

  • Kushiyara River is a distributary river in Bangladesh and Assam.
  • It forms on the India-Bangladesh border as a branch of the Barak River when the Barak separates into the Kushiyara and Surma.
  • The waters of the Kushiyara originate in the state of Nagaland and pick up tributaries from Manipur, Mizoram and Assam.
  • From its origin at the mouth of the Barak, also known as the Amlshid bifurcation point, the Kushiyara flows westward forming the boundary between Assam, India, and the Sylhet District of Bangladesh.

How will Bangladesh use the water?

  • The water of Kushiyara will be channelled through the Rahimpur Canal project in Sylhet.
  • The Rahimpur Canal project in Zakiganj upazila or subdivision of Sylhet was built to help the farmers access Kushiyara’s water but the facility used to remain dry during the lean season without serving the purpose for which it was built.
  • The eight km long canal is the only supplier of water from the Kushiyara to the region and Bangladesh has built a pump house and other facilities for withdrawal of water that can now be utilised.
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