NEW DELHI: India today termed as "erroneous and misleading" the reports of floods in Bangladesh caused by the release of water from the Farakka Barrage on the Indian side.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said that the gates of Farakka Barrage are operated to smoothly pass the flows of Ganga river through it as per the clarification from the Water Resources Ministry.
Swarup also noted a Bangladeshi media report of August 31 that quoted Bangladesh's Water Resources Minister as saying that, "India did not open the gates of Farakka Barrage suddenly, and there is no possibility of fresh floods in the country. All the gates of Farakka Barrage remain open during the monsoon to release water through the Farakka Barrage -- it is nothing new". Swarup stated that the media reports regarding release of water from Farakka Barrage contributing to floods in Bangladesh are "erroneous and misleading".
The Farakka barrage gates remain open during the monsoon for smooth passage of flows of Ganga river which is a routine and unavoidable activity, he said. In accordance with the standing arrangement between India and Bangladesh, flood alerts during the monsoon season are communicated for Farakka and Sahibganj sites by field offices of Central Water Commission of India to their Bangladesh counterparts.
Being a routine procedure no special intimation or alert regarding opening of gates is issued. Swarup also pointed out that the Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre of Bangladesh has been quoted in the media as stating that the latest water rise was natural and not unusual or abnormal in the month of August.