History of Farakka Barrage Dispute
After the partition of India Bangladesh in 1947, India tooks initiative to construct a Barrage on Ganga Riiver at farakka. But This Hydro-developmental initiative have left various negitive impacts on Bangladesh as well as in India also. Bangladesh is facing negitive environmental effects, whereas India is facing floodings and water crises after the construction of Farakka Barrage.
What is Farakka Barrage Dispute?
Farakka Barrage is a controversial matter between India and Bangladesh since long years ago. The water flowing through Farakka barrage divides into two portions. By one portion water is provided to hoogly and other portion, which is having equal portion of water, is provided to Bangladesh. Due to the reduced supply of water, the major problem that has arisen in Bangladesh is of salinity ingress. The increased supply of sediments is leading to flooding in Bangladesh. The ecological consequences of such hydrological alteration includes the destruction of breeding and rising grounds for a number of Gangetic species. Further, more amount of sediments are supplied to Bangladesh because water is released from the bottom of the Farakka Barrage (Report on this issue is available here)
Causes of Farakka Barrage Dispute
The main objective of the Farakka Barrage project is to divert one-half of the Ganga water to the Bhagirathi Hoogly river system through the 38 km long feeder canal for preservation and maintenance of the Kolkata Port by increasing the amount of water and enabling navigability of the Bhagirathi-Hoogly river system.(detail is attached here) If water is not divided is such method then there will be lack of water in Kolkata port. The Farakka Barrage has served this objective but led to other negative ecological consequences in India such as declining population of Hilsa and sedimentation and increased flooding upstream of Farakka.
A possible solution both for India and Bangladesh is to redesign the Farakka Barrage by allowing uninterrupted flow so that sediments also are equally divided and fish can migrate. (see our post on the alternative here)