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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Opposition Leader urged to name two MPs to the Government’s Tapaimuk Dam inspection delegation

M.A Qader- reporting from Bangladesh

Dhaka, 20 July ( Abdur Razzak, the head of a parliamentary team formed to visit India’s planned Tipaimukh dam site on July 29, has urged opposition BNP Chief Khaleda Zia to nominate two of her MPs to be included in the delegation.

Abdur Razzaq, also Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources Ministry, revealed this at a press conference on Sunday to counter Khaleda's press conference on Saturday.

The parliamentary body has decided to include a 10-member team, headed by Abdur Razzaq, however so far Members of parliament main opposition the BNP yet to be included.

"If the BNP nominates two MPs, we will make it a 12-member team instead of 10," said Razzaq.

He termed the recently held Khaleda’s conference on the Tipaimukh dam "politically motivated" to mislead people about the controversial issue.

"We have seen the pro-Indian attitude (of the BNP) while in power but an anti-Indian stance when in opposition."

He said the BNP government in 1978, 2003 and 2005 did not oppose the construction of the dam at the meetings of the Joint Rivers Commission.

He claimed that he had minutes of the JRC meetings of 1978, 2003 and 2005.

"At the JRC meetings of 2003 and 20905, they only wanted assurance from the India that it would not divert water for irrigation. And India assured them of no withdrawal of waters from Barak river," said Razzaq.

"They did not object to the construction of the dam," he said.

Razzaq stressed the need for building friendly relations with India to resolve water-related problems.

He made it clear that the Awami League government had not yet fixed its position on the planned Tipaimukh dam over the common river Barak—the lifeline of Bangladesh's Surma and Kushiara rivers.

Environmentalists have raised concerns over the dam, which, they say, would dry up the downstream water bodies causing ecological disaster in the greater Sylhet region.

New Delhi proposed the Bangladesh government send a parliamentary team to the proposed site to allay Dhaka's concerns over the project.

India says the Tipaimukh dam is a hydroelectricity project and there would be no diversion of waters.

The Barak river supplies waters to two rivers in Bangladesh, the Surma and Kushiara, the main source of water to hundreds of water bodies in the greater Sylhet region and which in turn feed the mighty Jamuna river.

- Asian Tribune -

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