Farakka Barrage

  • In 1951, India had initiated the construction of the Farakka Barrage. It was on the river Ganga, which flows from India into Bangladesh, where its primary distributary is known as the river Padma.
  • The river drains into Bay of Bengal after a confluence with river Meghna. In 1975, the barrage was finally constructed.
  • The reason for India to establish the barrage was to flush out the silt of Bhagirathi Hoogly river to ensure smooth operationalization of Kolkata port.
  • Bangladesh began to insist that Ganga is an international river so the water flow must be regulated as per a mutual agreement.
  • The two nations, in 1972, established a Joint River Commission (JRC) to negotiate terms of the water settlement. Differences arose over fair weather flow of river Ganga.
  • India asserted its right of regular flushing of water of river Hoogly, which Bangladesh vehemently opposed.
  • Zia-Ur- Rehman in 1977 took the Farakka barrage issue to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA urged him to resolve the issue at a bilateral level.
  • In November 1977, Babu Jagjivan Ram undertook an official visit to Bangladesh and signed an accord to resolve the Farrakka issue. However, other issues persistent between the nations as irritants.
  • In 1996, Awami League and the new government concluded a fresh treaty over the river Ganga with India. Ganga Water Treaty 1996 is an agreement to share surface waters at the Farakka Barrage near their mutual border. Issue is now resolved.