India has termed the media reports on release of water from Farakka Barrage contributing to floods in Bangladesh as “erroneous” and “misleading”.
“The Ministry of Water Resources of India has clarified that the Gates of Farakka Barrage are operated to smoothly pass the flows of Ganga (Ganges) river. The Farakka barrage gates remain open during the monsoon for smooth passage of flows of Ganga river which is a routine and unavoidable activity,” said a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, India, yesterday.
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Even a Bangladesh media report on August 31 has quoted the minister of water resources of Bangladesh saying that “India did not open the gates of Farakka Barrage suddenly, and there is no possibility of fresh floods in the country. All the gates of Farakka Barrage remain open during the monsoon to release water through the Farakka Barrage-it is nothing new,” the statement said.
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“Further, in accordance with the standing arrangement between India and Bangladesh flood alerts during the monsoon season are communicated for Farakka and Sahibganj sites by field offices of Central Water Commission (India) to their Bangladesh counterparts,” an official spokesperson said in the statement responding to media reports on the release of water from Farakka Barrage.
“Being a routine procedure no special intimation or alert regarding opening of gates is issued. The Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre in Bangladesh has been quoted in the media stating that the latest water rise was natural and not unusual or abnormal in the month of August,” the spokesperson added in the statement.
Earlier on Aug 26, Hydrological Department of Water Development Board in Rajshahi alleged that the Padma river might cross the danger level as India started releasing water through the Farakka Barrage in full scale.