DHAKA, Nov 20, Reuter: India and Bangladesh said on Sunday they had identified areas of cooperation to control annual floods which this year were the worst in living memory, killing over 2,600 people in Bangladesh and hundreds more in India.

”The Indo-Bangladesh task force identified the short and long term areas of cooperation for formulating structural and nonstructural measures for flood management, “a joint statement said after three days of talks.

”The task force, which is due to hold its second meeting in New Delhi next month, was set up last September after President Hossain Mohammad Ershad of Bangladesh visited India for talks with Prime Minister Rajiy Gandhi on the flood problems.

Water resources secretary Naresh Chandra, who headed the Indian team, told reporters the main task of controlling the floods, would have to be done by Bangladesh

”The basic work is to be done by Bangladesh. Outsiders can do up to a limit. (But) if we talk as neighbor to neighbor it could result in something.”

He said the main focus of the meeting was improving flood warning systems, “Hopefully we shall be able to improve it substantially by sharing our experiences,

Referring to similar task force Bangladesh had set up with Nepal and Bhutan Chandra said there ‘was nothing wrong with trying to solve multilateral problems through bilateral moves.

His Bangladeshi counterpart Syed Shamim Ahsam said they had also discussed sharing water from the Ganges River an issue the two countries have failed to resolve despite decades of efforts. He gave no details.

Article extracted from this publication >> November 25, 1988