Friday, June 19, 2009

India finally sends info on Tipaimukh dam

Dhaka, June 19 (—India has finally provided Bangladesh with information on the proposed Tipaimukh Dam after Dhaka's repeated requests, foreign minister Dipu Moni has said.

The information package has been forwarded to the water resources ministry and the Joint Rivers Commission, she told reporters on Friday.

"The government will now analyse the data received and sift through the information," she said after inaugurating a fair organised by the Foreign Office Wives' Association in the morning at the state guest house 'Padma'.

In case the proposed dam emerges to be seriously threatening Bangladesh's environment and ecology, the government will do everything in its power to oppose it and stop its construction, she added.

She, however, was sanguine that the Indian government will not do anything that might harm Bangladesh.

The minister said, "Our parliamentary delegation will soon visit the project site in India and submit a report to the government on return."

"The government will take necessary decision after reviewing relevant data and the report of the parliamentary delegates."

India began the construction work of Tipaimukh project damming the Barak river in 2003. It started the construction later last year without consulting Bangladesh.

Bangladesh environmentalists are concerned about the dam's impact on the Meghna greater Sylhet region in northeast Bangladesh.

Bangladesh gets 7 to 8 percent of its total water from the Barak in India's northeastern states. Millions of people are dependent on hundreds of water bodies, fed by the Barak, in the Sylhet region for fishing and agricultural activities.

The Barak assumes the name Kushiyara upon entering Bangladesh territory which travelling further downstream gets to be known as the Surma.

India says that the hydropower project will not harm Bangladesh.

According to some reports, the proposed Tipaimukh dam across the river Barak in the Indian state of Monipur will be 162.5 metres high and 390 metres long to create a reservoir by permanently submerging some 2.75 square kilometres of land.

India expects to generate around 1500 megawatt of hydropower from the project.

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