India and Bangladesh are now working on finalizing agreements for other rivers and exchanging best practices in the areas of river embankments and addressing salinity of rivers, said Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday.
"India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers which are part of our shared resources and responsibilities...The historic accord on Ganga water sharing has stood the test of time," he said during an interaction with the Bangladesh delegation at the 10th India-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue in Shimla.
Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shariar Alam led the delegation, which also included, among others, Awami League Presidium member Jahangir Kabir Nanak, MPs and political leaders, diplomats, academics and intellectuals.
Lauding the present economic growth in Bangladesh, Shringla said Bangladesh has emerged as a role model for strong socio-economic growth. "The growth of Bangladesh is not just in the interest of the people of Bangladesh, but equally, in the interest of the region and beyond".
Shringla stressed the importance of nurturing and upholding the spirit of the 1971 liberation war, especially at a time when radical and anti-liberation forces try to destabilize the region for their own interests.
About border management, he said effective management is key to facilitating economic linkages and people-to-people contact in both countries.
In this connection, he emphasized on working closely to strengthen border infrastructure to ensure smooth transit of goods and people while ensuring that illegal activities are kept under check.
The foreign secretary said the two way trade in the recent past has witnessed a quantum jump with exports from Bangladesh, for the first time, expected to cross USD two billion this year.
Regarding the connectivity issue, he said India and Bangladesh have made remarkable progress in enhancing connectivity through the use of their inland waterways.
"India remains committed to building the momentum of regional cooperation under the BIMSTEC Framework. It can be an important vehicle for enhancing economic cooperation, development and connectivity in the region. We are looking forward to the next BIMSTEC Summit," he added.