After the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, The Tista river is the biggest transboundary river shared among India and Bangladesh.

Tista River

Majestic view of Tista river 

This magnificent river is taken into consideration as the tributary of the Brahmaputra river originating from the Himalayas and passing via Sikkim, West Bengal and then meets in the Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh. It is 414 km long with a catchment vicinity of 1.75 million sq. Km. During the summers, the drift of water is excessive due to heavy rainfall and glaciers offer abundant meltwater. 

The river has two concrete bridges – the Coronation bridge and the Teesta bridge – which commemorate the coronation of king George and Queen Elizabeth in 1937, and had been finished in 1941 and 1941 respectively.

A Valuable Resource 

The river basin has been of greater significance for Bangladesh. As consistent with the reports of the Asian foundation in 2013, its flood plain undeniably covers 14% of the whole cropped location of Bangladesh and gives livelihood possibilities to about 73% of its populace. The river has been a backbone of the human civilization of North Bengal, and almost half a dozen districts of West Bengal are dependent on the waters of Teesta. It has been a useful resource as hydroelectricity is produced to power the city of Sikkim. Tista barrage dam aids in the irrigation of the plains.

It has varied into a huge spectrum of creation and improvement works comprising airfields, defense works and tunneling and has endeared itself to the people.

Hydroelectricity project at river Tista

aerial view of Tista hydroelectricity power plant 

Two Nations, One River

The Teesta dispute remains the most important unresolved dispute among the two companion nations. The two nations nearly concluded a water sharing treaty in 2011 under which India will get 42.5 % and Bangladesh will get 37.5%. However, the deal by no means went through because of opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was strongly averse to the treaty. A bilateral treaty among India and Bangladesh on sharing Teesta water did not materialize, in spite of efforts and a plethora of committees. While canals from the barrage have helped agriculture in India and Bangladesh, the fishing group has suffered. The river water war has been the maximum debatable issue between India and Bangladesh. The negotiations on how to proportion water has been occurring since 1972, however they failed to produce any effects. Bangladesh is likely to obtain an almost $1billion loan from China for a complete control and recuperation mission at the Teesta river. A settlement is required to save Bangladesh from being subsumed inside the Chinese sphere of effect. There is a choice between cooperation and sharing water, but the decreased water degree itself is a complicated problem to overcome.

Taming of Tista

Tista – the princess of the Himalayas which is ferocious and delightful at the same time has misplaced the equilibrium of the river because of the development of dams and irrigation canals. Taming river glides to facilitate irrigation aid for agriculture begets a group of beneficiaries and a collection of sufferers. Therefore, over time, the river misplaces the wearing capacity to massive sediment masses. Soon after monsoon months the river actually turns into a dead river with chars and shoals rising up from her bed. Deposits of slits close to the barrages are progressively lowering the carrying capacity of water through her primary channel and therefore Tista river became a meandering one as she splits into many channels during the dry season. Gradually, Tista has changed in length and in the quantity of drift. The financial incentives that farmers used to revel in by using river water for irrigation have been wiped out. Dams pose a hazard to river groups and the rich biodiversity of the location. It has become the landslide susceptible vicinity of the country. There is a scarcity of water in the course of the dry season and no vegetation takes place. Farmers lose their lands and livelihoods. In the Rainy season, because of immoderate rainfall, water comes down in bulk with severe turbulence from the Himalayan mountains. Bangladesh downstream suffers from flash flooding. This human caused endeavor to extract economic advantages by taming the river has triggered the river to lose its natural glide. 

Simran Jain

29 April 2022

Tags: Tista River

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