Indian social activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar has urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to agree to the sharing of River Teesta water with Bangladesh.
"India and Bangladesh are countries with friendly relations. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was accorded a grand welcome at the G-20 meeting. Then why should we have differences? We appeal to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that she should go ahead with the agreement (of exchange of Teesta waters)," said Medha Patkar, who was visiting West Bengal to participate in an event on World Rivers Day, reports The Hindu.
During an interview, the Indian activist said that she has made an appeal to the Chief Minister and may write to her on the issue.
Medha Patkar had campaigned against large dams in the country and also raised concern over the construction of barrages and dams on river Teesta.
She said that 70% of proposed projects of the Teesta River basin which are pending should never be completed.
Referring to The Helsinki Rules on the Uses of the Waters of International Rivers, she added that the water of rivers running through international borders needs to be shared.
She also pointed out that the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs in India has recently recommended to the government to resolve the pending Teesta water sharing with Bangladesh and pointed out that the West Bengal Chief Minister has not expressed objections to the reports.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has opposed the sharing of water of river Teesta that flows through north Bengal.
The remarks by the Indian social activist assume significance as she has a long association with Mamata Banerjee from the days of agitation against forcible land acquisition in Nandigram.
During the 2021 Assembly election in the State, when the Trinamool leadership was facing a stiff challenge from the BJP, Medha Patkar was among those who spearheaded a campaign "No vote for BJP".