Bangladesh Is a Country of Rivers Related with India

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Bangladesh, the eastern neighbour with which India hopes to resolve differences on sharing of Teesta and Feni rivers, is criss-crossed by over 300 rivers, 54 of which are common with India.

The country, surrounded on three sides by India, is a gigantic delta formed by the alluvial deposits of the three rivers: the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna.

"There are more than 300 rivers in Bangladesh of which 57 are transboundary rivers. Out of the 57 transboundary rivers, 54 are common with India and remaining 3 with Myanmar," says the Joint Rivers Commission of Bangladesh.

The Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna river systems drain a total catchment area of about 1.72 million sq km through Bangladesh into the Bay of Bengal. Out of this massive catchment area, barely 7 percent lies in Bangladesh.

It was over the final draft of the Teesta water sharing agreement that chief minister of India's West Bengal state Mamata Banerjee refused to accompany Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his Sep 6-7 Bangladesh visit.

The Teesta, which begins its journey in Sikkim, flows through north Bengal before entering Bangladesh. The other river on the India-Bangladesh discussion table is the Feni.

The Feni, which flows 135 km south of Tripura capital Agartala, has been in dispute since 1934. In a total catchment area of 1,147 square km of the river, 535 square km falls in India and the rest in Bangladesh.

At the 37th meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC) in New Delhi in March 2010, Bangladesh had allowed India to go ahead with a drinking water project and 21 river protection projects on the Feni.

India and Bangladesh have 2,979 km of land border and 1,116 km of riverine boundaries. The Indian states of West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam and Tripura share the 4,095-km border with Bangladesh.
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