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India will warn B'desh about floods earlier
Nadeem Qadir in Dhaka | September 19, 2005 21:07 IST
Last Updated: September 19, 2005 23:31 IST
India on Monday said it will advance the time of early warnings to Bangladesh on floods in Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers as the two countries began talks to review their longstanding water issues.
"India would provide 'advanced early warning' data for Brahmaputra with a 66 hours lead time instead of existing 42," Water Resources Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi told reporters as the two sides started their much-delayed talks on water.
"For the Ganges, the warning tips would be provided 68 hours in advance from further upstream regions while Bangladesh now gets 41 hours of lead time," he added.
Bangladesh Water Resources Minister Hafizuddin Ahmed told reporters separately that "the lead time we used to get (for the Brahmaputra and the Ganges) from India for flood preparedness was not enough. From now on we will get the flood forecasting data from India's further upstream regions."
On the talks, he said on the first day the two sides reviewed the longstanding water issues, but for a "positive outcome".
"I am happy," Dasmunsi said on the talks. "Water is an issue, with which, all countries should be conscious and concerned," he said replying to a question on Bangladesh's concerns with the common rivers.
The two ministers said the first day talks also reviewed the functioning of the 1997 Ganges Water Treaty.
Other issues like the river-linking project, construction of Tipaimukh dam at the upstream of north-eastern Sylhet region and sharing of waters in seven more common rivers, including the Teesta, would be discussed on Tuesday.
The 36th Commission meeting has seven points on its agenda, including the sharing of the Teesta river.
The two countries share 54 common rivers waters and in 1996 inked the landmark Ganges river water sharing treaty.