Kolkata, Apr 24 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that there should be a discussion on her proposal to share waters of the Torsa and Manshai rivers with Bangladesh instead of Teesta. Also Read - West Bengal: 13 Dead in Road Accident Due to Fog in Jalpaiguri District

Emphasising that one should meet the need of the people of the state first before deciding on sharing waters of the Teesta, Banerjee said, “I have already given a proposal of sharing waters of the Torsa and Manshai instead of the Teesta. Also Read - 7th Pay Commission Latest News: Dearness Allowance, Salary Hiked For These State Govt Employees

There can be a discussion on that.” Also Read - Will Never Bow My Head Before BJP, Says Mamata Banerjee, Calls Saffron Party More Dangerous Than Maoists

Speaking to reporters after holding an administrative meeting at Coochbehar today, the chief minister said that though she loved Bangladesh a lot, one should not forget the cause of the people of West Bengal.

“We must meet the need of the people of the state (West Bengal). I am very transparent in whatever I speak… We love everybody. We love Bangladesh a lot,” she said.

“If water is still there after serving the need of the people of West Bengal, we will surely share. But now if the people of the state do not get adequate water, what will we do (in sharing Teesta water with Bangladesh)?… We have shared water with them (Bangladesh) earlier.”

Banerjee had mooted the proposal to share waters of the Torsa and Manshai, instead of the Teesta, during the visit of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to India earlier this month, contending that as the Teesta remained dry during summer months, Bengal would suffer if water has to be divided.

Referring to development work held in the Coochbehar district, Banerjee said, “A lot of work has happened in Coochbehar district. Work for electrification is complete.

Work going on to make the district Open Defecation Free (ODF).”

She further stated that a nine-seater plane would start operating from the Coochbehar airport from July.

“We have allotted Rs 35 crore for Coochbehar airport.

A 9-seater plane will start operating from July under PPP model,” the chief minister said adding that the state would build pakka houses for the residents of Chhitmahal.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.