India will take ‘very little’ amount of water from Feni river, ministry says

The amount of water India will take from the Feni river in Bangladesh to a town in the Tripura State is “very little”, the water resources ministry has said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has endorsed the related deal on “humanitarian grounds”, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The MoU was signed along with six other deals in the presence of Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday.

India will withdraw 1.82 cusec of water from the Feni river for a drinking water supply scheme for Sabroom town in Tripura under the MoU.

The BNP has alleged Bangladesh’s interests were not safeguarded in the deal when India has refused to sign the much-awaited Teesta river water-sharing deal repeating the same reassurance of “working on the issue”.

“Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has permitted the deal considering that India is our neighbour and on humanitarian grounds as the water will be used for drinking,” the water resources ministry said.

“The amount of water is 1.82 cusec, which is very little as 1 cusec in equal to 28.32 litres,” it added.

An average of 794 cusec water flows through the Feni river daily during the dry season, according to the ministry.

“It means the withdrawal of water (by India) during the dry season will be 0.23 percent of the total flow,” it said.

The river flows into the Bay of Bengal along the borders and enters Bangladesh near Chhagalnaiya in the district of Feni.

The two countries started discussing withdrawal of water from the river by India in 2010, the ministry said.