Fresh Talks on Teesta Water Treaty on Cards as Shah, Banerjee to Meet Sheikh Hasina in Kolkata Test Match

Kolkata: Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina bonding over cricket in Kolkata at Eden Gardens in the presence of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee could open a new chapter in long pending Teesta water-sharing treaty.

After Hasina’s plans to watch the cricket Test match between India and Bangldesh at Eden Gardens in Kolkata starting November 22 were confirmed, a senior minister in the Bangladesh PM’s Cabinet said that she is interested in raising the issue of the contentious Teesta River agreement with both Shah and Banerjee.

Sharing the waters of the Teesta river, which originates in the Himalayas and flows through Sikkim and West Bengal to merge with the Brahmaputra in Assam and (Jamuna in Bangladesh), is perhaps the most contentious issue between two friendly neighbours, India and Bangladesh.

The river covers nearly the entire floodplains of Sikkim, while draining 2,800 sq km of Bangladesh, governing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. For West Bengal, Teesta is equally important, considered the lifeline of half-a-dozen districts in North Bengal.

There are expectations that Banerjee’s presence may contribute to a softening of the West Bengal government’s stand on the proposed Teesta water-sharing treaty.

Several other well-known personalities from sports like boxer Mary Kom, shooter Abhinav Bindra will also be present on the occasion. There will be a special talk show with cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble.

Earlier, on October 29, 2019, first-ever day/night Test match with Pink Ball at Eden Gardens from November 22-26 was announced. Almost all the tickets are already sold out and more than 45,000 people are expected to witness the historic moment. Kolkata police is also prepared with their elaborate security measures in and around the Eden Gardens.