Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dhaka postpones team’s visit to Indian dam site

DHAKA - Bangladesh has postponed the visit of a team of lawmakers and water resources experts to the site of the Tipaimukh dam project in India as it awaits the finalisation of the tour dates after their leaders meet during the NAM summit.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has left for Egypt’s Sharm-al-Shaikh town to attend the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, is expected to meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on its sidelines, media reports said Tuesday.

Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen told the media here that Dhaka had not received a communication from New Delhi to facilitate the visit that was earlier scheduled for Wednesday.

He hoped the visit would take place by the end of this month, New Age newspaper said.

Tipaimukh dam is proposed to be built on Barak river in India’s Manipur state.

The Bangladesh team has not been completely constituted as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has refused to nominate two lawmakers for it.

The BNP Monday said it had finalised the draft of a letter that its leader, Begum Khaleda Zia, will address to various governments and international organisations protesting the Indian project.

On June 24, Zia wrote to the Indian premier apprising him of her concern over the construction of the Tipaimukh dam.

BNP’s top policy-making body, the national standing committee, finalised the draft of the letter at its meeting Sunday night.

The draft letter describes the dire impact on Bangladesh if the dam is constructed across the cross-border river, which is part of the Meghna river system, said a member of the standing committee Moudud Ahmed.

The letter would be sent at a convenient time, the lawyer-politician was quoted as saying.

The opposition parties have joined environmentalists against the Indian project located 200 km upstream of Bangladesh to allege that it poses threats to climate, ecology, biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries, drinking water supply and the livelihood of more than a third of all Bangladeshis.

Source: http://blog.taragana.com/n/dhaka-postpones-teams-visit-to-indian-dam-site-108619/

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