The Joint Rivers Commission was established on a permanent basis through a joint declaration between the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh and India on 19 March, 1972 inter-alia to carry out a comprehensive survey of the river systems shared by the two countries, formulate projects concerning both the countries in the fields of flood control and to implement them, to formulate detailed proposals on advance flood warnings, flood forecasting, study on flood control and irrigation projects on the major river systems and examine the feasibility of linking the power grids of Bangladesh with the adjoining areas of India, so that the water resources of the regions can be utilized on an equitable basis for mutual benefit of the people of the two countries. The Statute of JRC was accordingly signed on 24 November, 1972 to maintain liaison between the participating countries in order to ensure the most effective joint efforts in maximising the benefits from common river systems to both the countries.

 

Subsequently, the Government of Bangladesh established the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC), Bangladesh to work as the Bangladesh side of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission and to address the issues relating to the sharing and management of water of Transboundary rivers. The office of the JRC, Bangladesh has an approved set up of 48 posts.

 

Activities of JRC

• To hold meetings with India to discuss on sharing of waters, joint management, transmission of flood related data, interventions in Indian territory to control flows, embankment & river bank protection works adjacent to international border and other pertinent issues of the transboundary rivers and undertake appropriate actions.

• Monitoring and sharing of the Ganga/ganges Waters at Farakka, India and monitoring at Hardinge Bridge, Bangladesh during 1 January to 31 May every year as per provision of the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, 1996.

• To hold meetings with Nepal for jointly harnessing of water resources, mitigating floods and flood damages, interventions in Nepalese territory to control flows in transboundary river basins, conduct research and technical studies and undertake appropriate actions.

• To hold meetings with China for co-operation in the field of water resources, interventions in Chinese territory to control flows in transboundary river basins, enhancing the flood forecasting capability through exchange of flood related data and information of the Yaluzangbu/Brahmaputra River and undertake appropriate actions.

• Work as Secretariat of Bangladesh National Committee of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Act as national focal point of Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on water issues.

 

The Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) since its establishment in March, 1972 has held 37 meetings at Ministers' level. Besides, several other meetings at various level were also held. The issues mainly addressed at those meetings are as follows:

   Sharing waters of common rivers

   Transmission of flood related data from India to Bangladesh

   Construction and repair of embankment and bank protection works along common/border rivers

   Indian River Inter Linking project

   Tipaimukh Dam project of India

   Mahananda Barrage constructed by India

   Interventions in Indian territory to control flows in different transboundary rivers

   Other pertinent issues