A recent announcement in Delhi to go ahead with a scheme to link 30 rivers across the country, including the Brahmaputra and the Ganga in the Himalayas, set off a new round of grave concerns from its next door neighbor Bangladesh.
New Delhi's renewed thrust on the project has left not merely environmentalists, but also the Bangladeshi government, its opposition and the Indian opposition worried.
The announcement seems to have overlooked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's very recent reiterated commitment and a joint communique signed by the two prime ministers of Bangladesh and India in 2010.
Frustrated at the announcement, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government, in a letter recently, reportedly expressed grave concern saying any diversion of the waters of the Himalayan rivers would go against India's commitments to Bangladesh.
Dhaka also requested New Delhi not to implement any project to interlink rivers as it would harm Bangladesh.
New Delhi on July 13 announced its plan to go ahead to interlink four trans-boundary rivers.
Sanwar Lal Jat, Indian minister of water resources, said his ministry would soon be taking up the planning of a very important link, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga (Brahmaputra in Bangladesh), in consultation with the governments of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar.
"This link project will not only provide large irrigation and water supply benefits to Assam, West Bengal and Bihar, but will also make available large quantities of water for subsequent transfer to southern states," he was quoted in an official statement as saying.
He said state governments in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar will soon be approached for their consent.