Riadul Islam Dip

We had a river named Tista

Water politics, sometimes called hydro politics, is politics affected by the availability of water and water resources, a necessity for all life forms and human development.  “We had a river named Tista” is a narrative of the Bangladesh-India water sharing disputes, which date back to the late 1970s with India’s ill-conceived construction of barrages on Tista River. India has embarked on building dams, diverting water and reportedly blocking not only Tista’s water but also the water of most of the trans-boundary Rivers flowing into Bangladesh.Itisnot only astoryofadyingriver; butitis also apainfultaleofinequitableconductof political domination of a country towards its neighbor.

Bangladesh is a deltaic country and often called it “Land of rivers”. Here more than 700 rivers and their tributaries formed a large network of hydro-system that has a length of 21,140 km. Tista is the fourth major river of Bangladesh. It is also the lifeline of the northern regions of the country. Since India has been depriving Bangladesh from her fair share of the water from the Tista River, vast areas of land along the banks of the rivers are going through desertification. Agriculture has been drastically affected, and life in those regions has shifted dramatically. Today 115 km stretch of the Tista River has lost its depth and became a mere skeleton of its former self.