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IFC urges pol parties: Include river-water rights in manifestos
Transboundary rivers

IFC urges pol parties: Include river-water rights in manifestos

Dhaka, Sept 30: The International Farakka Committee (IFC), an international environmental organization working as water rights watch group, has urged all patriotic political parties and organisations in Bangladesh to have the issue of sustainable basin-wide management of common rivers as the main question of life and death of people in their political and election manifestoes. In a statement issued to the press on Sunday IFC said Leaders of political parties in Bangladesh are spelling out their party-positions on different issues in view of the upcoming general elections. The largest delta in the world Bangladesh accommodates 170 million people. Most of the land has been created by 54 common rivers which account for 90 of its water. The geographic and environmental balance of this land is dependent on these rivers. But whereas the are political and legal battles overflows of water of common rivers between the constituent states of India, most political parties in Bangladesh prefer to keep mum on this life and death question of the people, for fear of misunderstanding from the large neighbour –India.
Political leaders of the neighbouring country want Bangladesh’s cooperation in dealing with China to ensure sustainable basin-wide management of the Brahmaputra River. But they fail to grasp the question of life death of the people involved in the management of the common rivers at upstream in India.
The common rivers including the Ganges, the Brahmaputra, the Teesta and their distributaries in Bangladesh are turning dead during the dry season and causing disastrous floods in the wet season.
The political parties and their leaders in Bangladesh can strengthen their appeals to the people by inserting in their political manifestoes on a priority basis the question of sustainable basin-wide management of common rivers to safeguard environment and life. The common rivers are central to the environment and ecology in Bangladesh. They involve the question of life and death of the people. Political parties that do not include in their political manifestoes the question of sustainable management of common rivers are bound to be detached from the people.
A creation of rivers, Bangladesh cannot sustain without the common rivers. We are for the internationally accepted sustainable basin-wide management of common rivers. The common rivers in Bangladesh are dying due to their unsustainable management at upstream in India. And manmade environmental disasters are becoming increasingly visible in the country. As the common rivers cannot chart their natural paths, the floodplains, groundwater in the plains are not adequately recharged and in turn, the rivers are deprived of the base-support from groundwater in the dry season. We want an end to such unsustainable management of common rivers so that these natural systems can be kept alive through sustainable and basin-wide management and all peoples in their basins benefit from their services keeping the environment, ecosystems and life unaffected.
Those who have put their signatures or lent support to the above statement are IFC New York chairman, Atiqur Rahman Salu, senior vice-chairman, Awlad Hossain Khan, secretary-general, Sayed Tipu Sultan; IFC Bangladesh president, Prof Jasim Uddin Ahmad, senior vice-president, Dr S.I. Khan, general secretary, Syed Irfanul Bari and IFC coordinator, Mostafa Kamal Majumder.