Statute of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission

Signed at Dacca, 24 November 1972


The Contracting Parties Pursuant to the relations of friendship and cooperation that exist between India and Bangladesh,

DESIROUS of working together in harnessing the rivers common to both the countries for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries,

DESIROUS of specifying some questions relating to these matters,



Article 1

There shall be established an Indo-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission, hereinafter referred to as the Commission.

Article 2

(i) The Commission shall be constituted by each participating Government appointing a chairman and three members; of these two shall be engineers. The chairman and the three members shall ordinarily hold office for a period of three years.

(ii) Each participating Government may also appoint such experts and advisers as it desires.

Article 3

The Chairmanship of the Commission shall be held annually in turn by Bangladesh and India.

Article 4

(i) The Commission shall have the following functions, in particular:

(a) to maintain liaison between the participating countries in order to ensure the most effective joint efforts in maximising the benefits from common river systems to both the countries,

(b) to formulate flood control works and to recommend implementation of joint projects,

(c) to formulate detailed proposals on advance flood warnings, flood forecasting and cyclone warnings,

(d) to study flood control and irrigation projects so that the water resources of the region can be utilized on an equitable basis for the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries, and

(e) to formulate proposals for carrying out coordinated research on problem of flood control affecting both the countries.

(ii) The Commission shall also perform such other functions as the two Governments may, by mutual agreement, direct it to do.

Supporting Staff and Secretariat Assistance

Article 5

Each Government will provide appropriate supporting staff and Secretariat assistance to its representatives in the Commission to enable them to discharge their functions in an effective manner.


Article 6

(i) Subject to the provisions of this Statute, the Commission shall adopt its own rules of procedure.

(ii) Meetings may generally take place alternately in the two countries, subject to the convenience of the two Governments.

(iii) Special meetings of Working Groups or Ad-Hoc Expert Groups duly nominated by the respective Governments may be arranged, as required, by the mutual consultation of the Members.

Rules of Procedure

(iv) The ordinary sessions of the Commission shall be held as often as necessary, generally four times a year. In addition special meetings may be convened any time at the request of either Government.

Article 7

All meetings shall be closed meetings unless the Commission desires otherwise.

General Provisions

Article 8

The Commission shall submit confirmed minutes of all meetings to the two Governments. The Commission shall also submit its annual report by the 31st January, next year.

Article 9

Decisions of the Commission shall be unanimous. If any differences arise in the interpretation of this Statute, they shall be referred to the two Governments to be dealt with on a bilateral basis in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.