Dhaka, Dec 02 (bdnews24.com)
Visiting British parliamentarian George Galloway on Wednesday called for an international enquiry into the probable environmental impact of India's proposed Tipaimukh Dam.
Galloway made the call at a press conference at Dhaka Reporters Unity auditorium.
The MP said an international investigation was required on whether the dam has any negative effect on a section of both Bangladesh and Indian population.
He said the Tipaimukh Dam is not an issue that concerns only Bangladesh and India. As it has consequences on the climate and environment, it is an international issue, he added.
Galloway said a vast area of Bangladesh will experience drought in the dry season and flooding in the rainy season if the dam is constructed.
"I am not against India. I consider India to be a friend. My campaign is not against India," he said.
"India is a big country. Bangladesh is not. Not only Bangladeshi people, a section of Indian people will also be affected. Even the Indian expatriates in London protested … against the proposed dam," he said answering to a query.
Galloway said, as an MP in London, he is the representative of the 40,000 people of Sylhet there and it is his duty to see the advantages and disadvantages of these people, who will be victims of Tipaimukh dam.
"I am worried that, if the dam is built, the management system of the Surma basin will be seriously damaged. It can bring utmost danger for the Sylhet area," he said.
Galloway led a UK delegation and a huge Bangladeshi crowd on a march Sunday from Sylhet city to the border with India where the river Barak divides into the Shurma and Kushiara.
The march was arranged to draw global attention to the potentially devastating impact of the proposed dam on Sylhet and the entire north-eastern region of Bangladesh.
Along with George Galloway MP, the delegates include MP candidate from Respect for the upcoming UK election, councillors Abjol Miah and M Mamunur Rashid, and 17 other British representatives. They returned to Dhaka on Tuesday.
Galloway was an MP of the British Labour Party for a long time. He left the party protesting the UK government's role in Iraq war. Later, he was elected an MP from the British Respect party.