Bangladesh and India's Joint Rivers Commission meeting is likely to decide on deals over the Kushiyara and Ganges rivers ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 6-7 September India visit.
According to The Hindu, at least one major river agreement on the Kushiyara, which flows from Assam into Bangladesh, may be reached later this month along with the sharing of data on river waters and better flood control planning.
The River Commission planning for the agreement is being tightly guarded by officials on both sides as water sharing between the two countries is considered a sensitive subject given the fact that it often takes political meaning.
"A diplomatic source also hinted at a 'major agreement' involving the Ganga may also be taken up as there is a 'strong urge' to achieve a big river agreement ahead of Prime Minister Hasina's visit, which may be her last trip to Delhi before Dhaka goes into election mode next year," reports The Hindu.
The Awami League government has been insistent on sealing the Teesta waters agreement, which has eluded settlement so far. Sheikh Hasina visited India during October 2019 and Narendra Modi visited Dhaka in March 2021 and during all high-level interactions, Bangladesh conveyed its urgency over the Teesta issue.
In that context, Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami had earlier referred to "reservations by the West Bengal government", while explaining the delay in the Teesta waters agreement. However, it is understood that India has agreed to offer Bangladesh a package on river waters-related deals that will be considered a significant advancement in terms of sharing river resources with Dhaka.
While political ties between Delhi and Kolkata have been a reason that apparently stalled Teesta waters, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in Delhi last week and met with Narendra Modi on issues that are relevant to her state, The Hindu reports.
Banerjee's visit, which came in the backdrop of the tightly-guarded India-Bangladesh negotiation, has contributed to the speculation on river water sharing between India and Bangladesh.