New Delhi: Bangladesh has sought expeditious resolution of the contentious Teesta River water treaty issue, saying his country was paying "huge" costs for long.

The country's envoy Tariq Ahmed Karim also underlined need for speedy redressal of all long-pending bilateral issues with India, saying it was necessary for equitable distribution of natural resources between the two countries.

Speaking at a function to commemorate the 141st birth anniversary of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das here last evening, Karim stressed the need for an effective management of water resources for fair and equitable distribution of resources between India and Bangladesh.

 "All issues, especially the water treaty on Teesta, need to be sorted out sooner. I emphasise on the word 'sooner', understanding the huge costs our country is paying for this. India and Bangladesh share a watershed of around 54 rivers, but there is a water sharing treaty on just one, that is for the Ganga," the Bangladesh High Commissioner said.

Noting that issues relating to security have been reduced considerably, Karim said the Bangladesh government was committed to deal with India's concerns.

Recalling the recent bilateral developments, particularly the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka following his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina's visit here last year, he said under the present leadership in
Bangladesh, relations with India are "set to reach new horizons".

 "I would call the recent developments as 'game- changing'. With fresh initiatives from both sides, relations between India and Bangladesh have been reconfigured considerably," he said, adding the government in Dhaka was committed to give fresh impetus to the relations.

In his address, Karim also highlighted the recent steps taken to add pace to bilateral trade between the two neighbours and said both India and Bangladesh have zeroed in on several forays to work upon.

"Bangladesh is providing transit facility to India to give it a smooth access to countries like Bhutan and Nepal. New 'Haats' (markets) have been started and some more will come up in Meghalaya and Tripura in near future. Marine cooperation is also very much on cards," the Bangladesh envoy said.

Karim called for a three-dimensional approach of 'past, present and future' to ensure a close cooperation between the two countries.

"We should not only focus on current prospects, but at the same time, need to work out past issues of contention, apart from setting an eye on the future," he said.

Observing that India continues to occupy a major stake in Bangladesh's foreign and economic policy, Karim said Bangladesh could not have achieved freedom as quickly as it did, without the support of India.

He said that apart from political and economic ties, both the countries also shared a cultural, social and, above all, an emotional bondage.

(Agencies)