Bangladesh To Seek Chinese Support For Teesta River Restoration Project

11 Aug 2020 by Staff - Water Diplomat
DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Water Resources is set to seek funding for an estimated $985 Million USD to implement a “Teesta River Comprehensive Management and Restoration Project”, possibly with support from China, as discussions with India over management of the river are perceived to have been unproductive.

Further OOSKAnews coverage of the Teesta River

The project is set to address serious riverbank erosion that leads to disastrous flooding in Bangladesh each year and to provide water in the dry season when upstream dams and irrigation projects in India divert water resources. Such a project would also enable economic development in the region.

According to The Daily Star (Bangladesh), a project summary also suggests that such a restoration project includes land reclamation, development of transportation and shipping along the river, restoration of the ecosystem, construction of a photo-voltaic power plant. Side benefits include improvement in agricultural output and related socio-economic benefits to the community, development of an industrial park and construction of an urban complex.

The development plans have been delayed for almost 10 years due to lack of funding, with overtures to the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency proving unfruitful. However, more recently Chinese interests have expressed willingness to consider the project. Chinese state-owned Power Construction of China (Power China) has completed a feasibility study and a construction master plan.

Separately, the Bangladesh government is seeking about $18 Billion USD in loans from China in order to continue work on 26 infrastructure projects. This is part of a $24.5 Billion USD commitment for both Government Concessional Loans (GCL) for funding amounts of less than $300 Million USD and Preferential Buyer’s Credit (PBC) for amounts in excess of $300 Million USD which also require recipient co-financing of up to 15 percent of the contract price.