Watching the Farakka Barrage: Role of Media
The environmental impacts caused by the water diversion at Farakka Barrage are significant. In the last five decades it has generated a lot of debates among politicians, bureaucrats, academics and has affected dwellers of lower catchment areas of the Ganges River. The Farakka Barrage was built primarily to serve the twin purpose of regulating the amount of Ganges (Ganga) water to flow out from the Indian territory into Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan); and to ensure that sufficient water (as much as 1,134 m3/sec or 40,000 ft3/sec) could be diverted to the Bhagirathi-Hooghly River through a feeder canal to enable regular flushing of silts at Kolkata Port. This arrangement has tangled the Farakka Barrage often in controversy as India and Bangladesh have been disagreeing over the sharing of the Ganges water between the two countries. In the recent past, some efforts have been made to resolve this contentious dispute between the two nations, including the signing of a 30-year Ganges Water Treaty (see Annex I), but no serious thoughts have been granted or furnished to reach a meaningful and lasting solution to the problem.
KeywordsWater Diversion Common People Asia Pacific Journal Constitutional Provision Executive Authority
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