Sunday, August 16, 2009

Water experts want national convention on Tipaimukh Dam

Dhaka, Aug 16 (UNB)

Environment experts on Sunday urged the government to hold a national convention on India’s proposed Tipaimukh Dam across the Sylhet border that will leave a perilous affect on Bangladesh.

Addressing a press conference they also demanded forming a national committee to work together on various aspects of the dam and take the decision how to ensure availability of waters of the common rivers.

New Work based International Farakka Committee (IFC), a trans-boundary water rights group, held the press conference at the National Press Club.

IFC chairman Atiqur Rahman Salu, former UN water expert Prof Dr SI Khan, former Vice Chancellor of Jahangirnagar University Prof Dr Jasim Uddin Ahmed, river law expert Prof Dr Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University and daily New Nation Editor Mustafa Kamal Majumder spoke
at the press conference.

A six-member expert-committee was formed comprising Prof Dr M Adel Mia of Arkansas University of USA, Prof Dr Monirul Kader Mirza of Toronto University of Canada, Prof Dr Khalequzzaman of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania of USA, Prof Dr SI Khan, Prof Dr Jasim Uddin Ahmed and Prof Dr Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University.

IFC chairman Atikur Rahman said the committee will discuss and exchange views with Awami League and BNP expert teams and, if necessary, assist both of them.

At the same time the IFC expert-team will monitor the activities of other national expert teams. It will also collect information on the river water rights and arsenic problems, he added.

Prof Asif Nazrul said earlier his name was included in the BNP-expert team but he refused to work under any political organization.

He was critical of Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakraborty for his objectionable remarks on water experts of Bangladesh.

On June 21, Pinak called the water experts who are dealing with the Tipaimukh Dam as 'so called experts' at a seminar in presence of Foreign Minister Dipu Moni.

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