Local Government Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan Wednesday said all the 55 common rivers that enter into Bangladesh from the neigbouring country are suffering from reckless upstream diversions, reports UNB.
"The diversions not only cause disasters to Bangladesh but also the entire eastern sub-Himalayan river system," Bhuiyan said while addressing the inaugural session of a two-day international conference titled 'Trans-boundary Rivers: Cooperation in South Asia' at the LGED Bhaban.
International Farakka Committee (IFC), a New York-based organisation, has arranged the two-day conference against the backdrop of war of words over water sharing and management of common rivers in this region.
The conference aims to form a transnational river commission for effective management of common-riparian resources in the Himalayan region.
"The cumulative effects of random structural interference on the upstream… severely blocking natural drainage to the Bay… destabilising the entire eastern sub-Himalayan parts, and may create catastrophic phenomena in the geo-techonically active region," the LGRD Minister said.
About the proposed Indian river-linking project, Tipaimukh dam and Gajaldoba dam projects that are threatening the ecology of entire Bangladesh, Bhuiyan said, "We need a regional and global approach to readdress the random upstream diversions causing disaster to the ecological balance of Bangladesh."
In his keynote paper, Commissioner of Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) M Maniruzzaman Miah said the World Water Council, a UNESCO-created body, has adopted the Global Water Partnership (GWP) as its instrument for implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).
Chaired by IFC senior vice- chairman Mohammmed Saleh, the meeting was addressed, among others, by IFC president Jashim Uddin Ahmad and secretary general Sayed Tipu Sultan.
During the two-day conference, the IFC will arrange four sessions on water issues of South Asia, the Farakka experience, Indian river-linking project and how to resolve the international water crisis.