In Dhaka, the Prime Minister is expected to send a strong message to strengthen the hand of his Bangladesh counterpart who has been steadfastly helping India in curbing various Northeast militant groups who used to take refuge in that country besides coming down hard on radical Muslim outfits.

However, India has already announced that the long-pending Teesta water-sharing pact with Bangladesh will not be signed during the visit.

We are listing here some facts about the Tessta Water Agreement:

1. India and Bangladesh share 54 rivers between them. Despite setting up a Joint River Commission for water management as early as in 1972, tensions between the countries on how to share resources recently came to a head in a dispute over the Teesta River.

2. Till date, India and Bangladesh  have signed only one agreement in 1996. This pact established a 30-year water-sharing arrangement between the two countries.
 
3. The Teesta deal was set to be inked during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh in September 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by Mamata Banerjee, who had also dropped out of the Prime Ministerial delegation.

4. Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs.

5. Teesta river, which has its source in Sikkim – flows through the northern part of West Bengal in India before entering Bangladesh, where after coursing through about 45km of irrigable land, merges with the Brahmaputra River.

6. In 1983, an ad-hoc water sharing agreement was reached between India and Bangladesh, whereby both countries were allocated 39 percent and 36 percent of the water flow respectively.

7. The new bilateral treaty expands upon this agreement by proposing an equal allocation of the Teesta River.  

8. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee refused to approve the treaty, fearing that the loss of higher volume of water to the lower riparian would cause problems in the northern region of state, especially during drier months.

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