Bridge Constructed across Teesta River in North Sikkim by BRO opened

On March 21, 2020, the Borders Road Organization opened a 360 feet long bridge across Teesta river. The bridge was constructed by BRO under Project Swastik.

Highlights

Till date, the connectivity was routed through restricted army land. With the bridge being opened, the army land access is to be closed for the public. The bridge will help in increasing tourism and also help in movement of logistics of Armed Forces.

Teesta River

Teesta river flows through the states of West Bengal and Sikkim. It flows into Bay of Bengal after traversing through Bangladesh. It is a tributary of the Jamuna river (Brahmaputra).

There is a long history of dispute between India and Bangladesh over the sharing of Teesta river. Teesta cover 14% of total cropped area of Bangladesh. But it supports more than 73% of its population. On the other hand, Teesta is the lifeline of West Bengal.

Teesta River Agreement

In 1983, Teesta river sharing agreement was signed between India and Bangladesh. According to the agreement, 39% of waters is to be shared by India and 36% water by Bangladesh.  Later in 1984, India’s share was increased to 42.5% and Bangladesh’s to 37.5%.

What is the Teesta River Dispute?

In 1998, Bangladesh began the Teesta Barrage Irrigation project. With this, the farmers of Bangladesh began enjoying 3 cropping seasons including dry seasons as well. Currently, India is not able to provide enough Teesta waters to Bangladesh during summer. This is because, several glaciers of the Teesta river are drying up in summers. This is reducing flow of the river in summer. Hence, India is unable to fulfil Bangladesh demand of more share of Teesta Water.

Indian Constitution

As water is state subject Central Government has no say. However, article 253 provides powers to the Union Government to interfere in any transboundary water issue.

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