Thursday, June 11, 2009

Feni River

Feni River is a river in the Indian state of Tripura and southeastern Bangladesh. It is a trans-boundary river with an on-going dispute.

Course of the river:

Feni River originates in South Tripura district and flows through Sabroom town and then enters Bangladesh.

It enters Bangladesh at Belchhari in Matiranga Upazila of Khagrachari District. It flows through Ramgarh Upazila (Khagrachari), Fatikchhari Upazila (Chittagong) and then flows along the border of Chittagong (Mirsharai Upazila) and Feni (Chhagalnaiya Upazila, Feni Sadar Upazila, Sonagazi Upazila) districts and discharges into the Bay of Bengal near Sonagazi. The length of the river is 108 km.The river forms the international boundary at some points.

Muhuri River, also called Little Feni, from Noakhali District joins it near its mouth. The river is navigable throughout the year by small boats up to Ramgarh, some 80 km upstream.


The question of sharing of the waters of the river between India and Pakistan was discussed way back in 1958.

Reports from Pakistan say, “India is trying to withdraw water from Feni River for irrigation projects in exchange of resolving erosion problem in Bangladesh side of this bordering river.”

According to statement on sharing of river waters with Bangladesh, released by India, “Feni River has been added to its mandate in the 36th JRC meeting. A decision was taken in the meeting that the Ministers of Water Resources of both the countries would visit the sites where developmental works have been held up. This Joint Inspection of various locations of developmental and flood protection works on common rivers was held from September 14-21, 2006.”

Feni Closure Dam:

A 3.41-km long closure dam was constructed across the river in 1965-66 at a cost of 593.5 million takas to divert the flow through the Feni regulator. It is located between Mirsharai and Sonagazi, in the Chittagong and Feni districts respectively. It was constructed to prevent saline water intrusion from downstream and retain fresh water upstream for use in the Muhuri Irrigation Project.

Inland port in Tripura:

Sabroom in South Tripura, in India, is only 18-20 km from Bay of Bengal, but it is a virtually a land locked territory. There is a thinking that an inland harbour could be built at Sabroom, connected to the sea through a canal, if Bangladesh allows it. The construction of such a harbour could reduce considerably the cost of transportation of goods from the rest of India to Tripura and the north-east of India. However, it is all at the thinking stage and no proposal have been tabled.

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