India and Bangladesh will not sign an agreement on sharing waters of the Teesta river in the wake of West Bengal's strong reservations to the treaty in its present form. Nor would the much-hyped transit facilities to India's land-locked North East through Bangladesh would materialise in the near term.
India will have to wait at least till next year for accessing transit facility through Bangladesh, the country's finance minister A M A Muhith told the Daily Star newspaper.
He attributed this to the delay in completion of the project. "We will take time and do not want to do anything in a hurry," Muhith was quoted as saying.
Instead, prime ministers Manmohan Singh and Sheikh Hasina have agreed to sign an interim deal on sharing Teesta waters as a face-saver. The two sides will also set a deadline for giving different transit facilities.
Visiting prime minister Manmohan Singh had to drop the Teesta water treaty from his Dhaka agenda following reservations expressed by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata did not want to share more than 25,000 cusecs of the Teesta waters with Bangladesh against the 33,000 to 50,000 cusecs provided for in the draft agreement.