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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2059

Disclose the report submitted by the parliamentary team which visited Tipaimukh Dam site - BNP Leader demands

M.A Qader-Reporting from Bangladesh

Dhaka, 07 August (Asiantribune.com): A leader of the main opposition BNP on Friday asked the government to disclose the report submitted by the parliamentary team which visited India’s proposed Tipaimukh Dam project site.

The leader Hafiz Uddin Ahmed former Water Resources Minister said the expert committee, to be constituted on the instruction of the Prime Minister, should be free from party bias to be able to measure the possible adverse impacts of Tipaimukh dam.

BNP vice-president Hafiz said, "We had asked the Indian authority for Tipaimukh information on several times in the last 31 years, but they did not so far provide any.”

"Now the one-party parliamentary committee says they have brought along the data . So it must be disclosed to the people."

Abdur Razzak, who led the delegation to India to gather the data, told a local news agency on Thursday that they had submitted a report to the prime minister of their findings in the trip.

Razzak, also a former Water Resources Minister who heads the parliamentary standing committee on water resources, returned from New Delhi just two days ago.

He said his team had sought further relevant information and Indian government officials had agreed to provide Dhaka with all the relevant information.

Hafiz said, "The government has formed a one-sided committee. Now the prime minister has ordered the constitution of an expert committee. We want a committee whose members are widely accepted."

He again suggested that the Bangladesh-India Joint River Commission should discuss the contentious issue.

He also criticized the committee for being convinced that the dam project will not affect Bangladesh's interests without being on the site in the first place.

"Their statement is unacceptable to people. What [the Indians] say they had said so during the construction of the [Farakka barrage].

The site is on the cross-border Barak River, which enters into Bangladesh as the Surma and Kushiara rivers. The two rivers are lifeline for hundreds of water bodies in the greater Sylhet region of Bangladesh.

The team failed to visit the site on two attempts, on July 31 and Aug 2, as their helicopter could not land due to bad weather. But, they said, they had been able to view the site from the air.

The dam would be situated over the cross border Barak river, which enters into Bangladesh as the Surma and Kushiara rivers. The two rivers are lifeline for hundreds of water bodies in the greater Sylhet region of Bangladesh.

India has already said the dam would not withhold water as it is part of a power generation project and not intended for irrigation purposes, but the people of Bangladesh, as well as Manipur state, remain concerned over the impact of the contentious project.

-Asian Tribune-

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