Explained: The significance of the Feni river MoU between India, Bangladesh

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News:Union Cabinet has approved an MoU between India and Bangladesh on the withdrawal of 1.82 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water from the Feni river by India.

Facts:

About Feni River:

  • Feni River is a river in southeastern Bangladesh.It is a trans-boundary river with an ongoing dispute about water rights. 
  • The Feni River originates in South Tripura district and flows through Sabroom town and then enters Bangladesh.

Dispute between India and Bangladesh:

  • The dispute over the sharing of the river water between India and Bangladesh has been long-standing. 
  • The dispute was first taken up between India and Pakistan (before the independence of Bangladesh) in 1958 during a Secretary-level meeting in New Delhi. 
  • However,there has been no water-sharing agreement between the countries on the Feni previously.

About the MoU:

  • In August 2019,India and Bangladesh held a water secretary-level meeting, where it was agreed to collect data and prepare water-sharing agreements for seven rivers Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Gumti, Dharla, Dudhkumar and Feni.
  • The MoU will benefit Sabroom town on the southern tip of Tripura.

Additional information:

  • A 150-metre long bridge across the Feni river is also being built between India and Bangladesh where the river forms the border between the two countries.The bridge  is expected to be completed by March 2020.
  • The river would connect Tripura with Chittagong port in Bangladesh, which is only 70 km away from the Indo-Bangla border.