India committed to Teesta issue: Modi, assures early solution
Apr 10 2017 by Desiree Burns
Modi said Hasina's visit marked the "golden era" of India-Bangladesh relations and described India as "a long-standing and trusted development partner of Bangladesh". Calling for cooperation in the South Asian region and better border connectivity between the two nations she said: "Regional cooperation is very, very important for development in South Asia".
Prime Minister Modi yesterday said that a "thought process" in South Asia is inspiring and nurturing terrorism.
After jointly releasing with Sheikh Hasina a Hindi translation of Bangladesh's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's autobiography "Unfinished Memoirs", Modi said that both countries would jointly produce a film on the life and works of Mujibur Rahman and a documentary of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
In this context, I am happy to announce a new concessional line of credit of Dollars 4.5 billion for the implementation of projects in priority sectors for Bangladesh.
The joint statement said Modi and Hasina welcomed the fact that a trilateral MoU between Bangladesh, Bhutan and India for cooperation in the field of hydroelectric power had been worked out and noted that it would be signed at an occasion when leaders of all three countries would be present together.
It is in the spirit of bipartisan approach that Indian parliament passed bills to ratify the land boundary agreement between the two countries.
The Modi government has also promised another 500 MW to Bangladesh - so when Mamata made the offer, Modi asked her to put it in writing.
Another MoU was signed on Passenger and Cruise Services on the Coastal and Protocol Route between the two neighbours.
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Though the two sides chose to take their ties to a newer level, they could not finalise the long-pending Teesta water-sharing agreement, primarily due to opposition to it by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was present during launch of new train and bus services between the two countries.
"Sheikh Hasina on the other hand has never done this despite the fact that Bangladesh has accepted grants and military supplies from China".
Hasina appreciated Modi "for his dynamism and innovative ideas that are not only taking India forward but adding value to our bilateral relationship".
"Oh, Teesta!" a front-page headline in one of Bangladesh's leading newspapers Daily Star screamed in June 2014, coinciding with the visit of Modi to Bangladesh. An Indian source said the government had taken note of her comments in an article in which she pointed out that there were some issues like sharing of water of common rivers that needed to be resolved.
In 2011, when former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited Dhaka to sign a number of agreements, including the Teesta water-sharing accord, Banerjee had claimed that an unfair agreement would hurt the people of the state.
Sheikh Hasina returned to the Indian capital in the afternoon.
The Prime Minister said with fresh assistance of United States $4.5 billion, India's resource allocation for Bangladesh has recorded more than USA $8 billion over the past six years.