Tipaimukh dam-Disaster for Bangladesh

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by leonblack08, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Farakka has proved to be an environmental disaster both for Bangladesh and India.Now the Indian Govt.'s plan to build Tipaimukh dam is going to be a severe disaster for Bangladeshi rivers.Indian Govt. is defying international laws and water treaties by going ahead with a project which is creating tension in the downstream Bangladesh.


    Tipai emits an air of eerie feelings
    India's secretive handling of Tipaimukh dam causing huge concern downstream
    Pinaki Roy

    [​IMG]

    Ignoring its promise, India in the last four years has refrained from sharing technical information with Bangladesh about building the Tipaimukh Dam in the bordering Manipur state, triggering public uncertainty and outcry over its possible negative impact on the neighbouring country.

    While India has not started construction of Tipaimukh dam on the Barak river near Manipur-Mizoram border, it had floated international tender in 2005 and opened the bid in 2006 during the era of former BNP-Jamaat alliance rule.

    In 2005, India promised to share with Bangladesh the project design, which is pending till date. Besides, the country also did not share any study report on the dam's impact on downstream regions.

    Experts told The Daily Star the construction of Tipaimukh dam would impose a great environmental threat to Bangladesh as four major rivers in the Meghna basin -- the Meghna, Kalini, Surma and Kushiyara -- lie downstream the Barak, locally known as 'Ahu'.

    Amid such concerns, the prime minister has recently said an all-party parliamentary committee will visit India to know about the issue. The schedule of this visit has not yet been set.

    Indian response to Bangladesh's worries has so far been remained confined within officially informing the government that they have not started any construction yet.

    "They also informed us that they would not construct the Phulertal barrage under the project," said Mir Sazzad Hossain, member of the Joint River Commission.

    At a Joint River Commission (JRC) meeting in September 2005 held in Dhaka India formally assured Bangladesh that they would not divert any water for their irrigation project, he said.

    Hiding any information by the upper riparian countries about the use of common rivers is considered as violation of the international water management convention.

    The expert warn of an increase in salinity in the Meghna-Surma basin, unusual floods in haor region, reduce in water flow in the Surma, Kushiyara and Meghna rivers in certain period, damage to the country's ecosystem and agriculture patterns in Sylhet region, among other impacts of the dam.

    A chain of severe impacts is very likely as Bangladesh gets 7-8 percent of its river waters through the Barak.

    Negative impacts of any large dam are very widely known around the globe. A detailed study by the World Dam Commission published in 2000 says adverse impacts of any large dams are irreversible for the lower riparian region.

    The study after reviewing 1,000 dams from 79 countries concludes in its report: "The environmental impacts of dams are more negative than positive ones and in many cases dams have led to irreversible loss of species and ecosystems."

    Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Pinak Ranjan Chakrabarti at a meeting with Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain recently said though his country will have sole control over water flow at the proposed dam site, it would not make any barrage.

    He also said Bangladesh would not be 'affected' by the dam.

    However, experts fear once the dam is set up, it may reduce the natural monsoon flood patterns in the Sylhet region, adversely affecting cultivation and livelihoods on a vast scale.

    "It will increase the risk of floods at the end of monsoon and hamper the agriculture patterns during winter," said Ainun Nishat, eminent river expert of the country.

    Rainfall patterns are changing due to climate change and a lot of rainfall takes place at the end of monsoon, said Ainun Nishat. If it rains at the end of monsoon, it will open the spillway gates of the dam and unusual floods will occur here, he added.

    They would preserve the water during monsoon after building the dam and release it in winter, which will increase the water flow downstream.

    "The land downstream the Barak in Sylhet region is wetland, where people grow crops during winter when it gets dry. If they release water during winter the wetland will be inundated and it will be a great impact on our agriculture," Nishat warned.

    An increase in water level in the winter will cause a major impact on the ecosystem if the wetland gets inundated, he added.

    He however said without checking every piece of information it is not possible to measure the total impact of Tipaimukh dam.

    The experts fear India may hold up water flow during dry season and divert water at the proposed Phulertal Barrage 100 kilometres downstream Tipaimukh and 100 km upstream Amalshid in Sylhet.

    The Phulertal barrage would have a direct bearing on the Surma, Kushiyara and Meghna rivers due to diversion of water for irrigation purposes in northeastern India. On hydropower component and rock fill dam, India claims no damage would occur to Bangladesh, but Bangladesh fears upstream water flow regulation.

    Director General of Water Resources Planning Organisation (WARPO) Jalaluddin Md Abdul Hye said, "We don't have enough information to talk about the issue."
     
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  3. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    damming of the Brahmaputra is the real danger to Bangladesh, any articles about that?
     
  4. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    continued.....

    INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION AND

    GANGES WATER

    SHARING TREATY, 1996


    According to the International Convention on Joint River Water, without the consent of the downstream river nation no single country alone can control the multi-nation rivers.

    But India does not care for these international laws despite being a signatory of this convention.

    If India constructs the dam without the consent of Bangladesh, it will also violate the article 9 of Bangladesh-India Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, 1996.

    Asked about a possible solution, Ainun Nishat said the solution has to be political. He added in the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty both the countries agreed to manage all the joint rivers on bilateral basis.

    "So under the Gages Water Sharing Treaty, both the country can resolve by sharing information and a joint team can study the adverse impacts on both the countries," Nishat added.

    India handed over a number of primary project proposals to Bangladesh in 1979 and 1983. Later they conducted detailed studies about the project and completed the final design and environment impact assessment but did not share those with Bangladesh.

    According to the primary project proposals, the height of the Tipaimukh damn was fixed at 161.8 metres and length 390 metres to contain at lest 15.9 million cubic metres of water.

    ROLE OF THE FORMER GOVERNMENT

    India completed the design and detailed studies and floated an international tender during the BNP-Jamaat rule, but the then government did not take up the issue properly.

    At the 36th JRC meet held in Dhaka in September 2005, Bangladeshi delegates did not raise the Tipaimukh issue properly and failed to collect any information from their counterparts.

    Just after two months India floated the international tender for the dam in November 2005, meaning they had nearly completed all the preparations during the JRC meet.

    The then Indian water resources minister and JRC Co-chairman Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi at that meet said, "We'll present Tipaimukh's planned design to Bangladesh when it is prepared."

    The Indian minister also committed to Bangladesh that they would not construct any barrage at Phulertal point as per their initial plan.

    But just in next year, in July 2006, the pre-bid qualification of the tender for the first phase was opened. But the then BNP government did not conduct any technical study about the impacts of Tipaimukh or send any team to negotiate or visit the site.

    Asked, Maj (retd) Hafizuddin, former water resources minister of the alliance government, said, "We repeatedly asked them to inform us about the Tipaimukh dam. But they didn't inform us anything, not even how much electricity they are going to produce."

    "The Bangladesh governments are always in the dark about the issue," he observed.

    About the JRC meet in 2005, he said the Indian minister assured that they would not build any barrage at Phulertal and they would inform later if they decide to build any barrage at any other point.

    He added BNP will soon arrange a press conference on the issue.
     
  5. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    continued.....

    INDIAN CITIZENS ALSO PROTESTING THE DAM


    Information surfaced in different websites says several Indian organisations and civil society bodies are protesting the dam considering its negative impacts.

    The websites also say the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of India has found the design of the dam contains many errors, omissions, gaps, lacks in scientific rigour and falls far short of compliance of normative standards set by the scientific and academic community in India and the world.

    The Action Committee Against Tipaimukh Dam (ACTIP), a platform protesting the dam, along with some other local committees from Manipur and Mizoram submitted a memorandum on March 14, 2007 to the president and prime minister of India in protest against the project.

    They mentioned in their memorandum that once the project is implemented, an area of 286.20 square kilometres land will go under water forever.

    Eight villages situated in the Barak valley will be completely inundated leaving over 40,000 people landless and more than 90 villages, mostly in Tamenglong district, adversely affected. Besides, about 27,242 hectares of cultivable land will be lost.

    The Barak waterfalls and Zeilad Lake, which are connected with the history of the Zeliangrong people, an indigenous community in India, will go forever underwater. All folklores and legends will have no monuments' proof and it will become a makeup story for the next generation.

    In the memorandum they said the mega-dam proposed in Tipaimukh will smother this river, change its age-old knowable and reliable nature, and drown them all in sorrow forever.

    The project is not for the common people, they said, appealing to the government to let the Ahu run free.

    How far they have advanced could not be confirmed, but the project is scheduled to be completed by 2012, different websites mentioned.

    Recently, the Indian high commissioner said most of the Bangladeshi experts are making comments without having adequate information.

    In response to the envoy's remarks, this correspondent tried to reach him in Dhaka, but he was not available.


    None of the other high officials at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka could be contacted for comments despite repeated attempts in the last three days.

    :The Daily Star: Internet Edition
     
  6. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    The answer is here:

     
  7. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    'China's damming of Brahmaputra could trigger catastrophe'

    'China's damming of Brahmaputra could trigger catastrophe'
    By IANS


    Guwahati: China's plans of building a dam over the Brahmaputra river and diverting water into its arid provinces have been opposed by regional governments in India's northeast.

    "Large-scale diversion of water would adversely hit the state's economy and could even lead to environmental problems and affecting the surface water table in the (Indian) northeast," Chief Minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi told IANS.

    The warning follows media reports that Beijing was planning constructing a dam and diverting water to its parched northwest and northeast territories, which includes the Gobi desert, from the mighty Brahmaputra river.

    The 2,906-km long Brahmaputra is one of Asia's largest rivers that traverse its first stretch of 1,625 km in China's Tibet region, the next 918 km in India and the remaining 363 km through neighbouring Bangladesh before converging into the Bay of Bengal.

    "Damming the Brahmaputra in China would have a cascading effect in the northeast and could lead to a natural calamity here. We have sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to persuade Beijing not to go ahead with their plans," said an Arunachal Pradesh government spokesman.

    The Assam government asking New Delhi for urgent intervention made similar appeals.

    "We have decided to form an expert committee to study the impact of such a move by Beijing," the chief minister said.

    According to media reports, China was planning to divert 200 billion cubic metres of water to feed the Yellow River in an attempt at easing acute water shortage in Shaanxi, Hebel, Beijing and Tianjin.

    The Brahmaputra is the lifeline for a vast majority of the people in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Bangladesh - most of them depend on the river for irrigating their agricultural fields, fishing and transportation of goods.

    Agriculture forms the backbone of the economies in both Assam and Arunachal Pradesh with nearly 80 percent of the 27 million people in the two states eking out a living through agriculture.

    "We are worried as many areas in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and even Bangladesh would go dry if the Chinese went ahead with their plans. This move would severely affect water flow to the region which in turn would adversely affect agriculture," said H. Nath, an agriculture scientist.

    An Indian external affairs ministry official has been quoted as saying that New Delhi would take up the issue during Chinese President Hu Jintao's proposed visit to Delhi next month.

    There has been no official reaction from Beijing to India's concern about damming the Brahmaputra River.
     
  8. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Tipaimukh dam, Fulertal barrage spell 'disaster' for Sylhet, say experts

    Maruf Mallick
    bdnews24.com environment correspondent

    Dhaka, May 28 (bdnews24.com)—Farm output will fall and poverty will rise, spelling 'disaster' for the Sylhet region if India's proposed Tipaimukh dam and Fulertal barrage are built, maintain experts.

    "The dam will cause water flow to slow down while the barrage will ensure their full control of water resources,"
    former director general and chief engineer of Water Resources Planning Organisation,engineer Inamul Haque told bdnews24.com Thursday.

    "The cultivation of early variety of boro in the northeast would be hampered," he said.

    "So far as I know the Tipaimukh dam will be built 200 kms from the Amolshid border, at Zakingong, to construct a vast water reservoir for hydro-power generation."

    "The water from three rivers—the Barak, Tipai and Irang—would be required to feed the water reservoir to cover an immense area,"
    said Inamul.

    "Besides, another barrage is to be built 100 kms off our border at Fulertal in India for irrigation purposes which would feed the waters through canals," Haq said.

    Haq said downstream regions will experience two major impacts: firstly, with the decrease of water in December, the people who now grow early varieties of boro on the land which used to arise in the haor areas would no longer have this resource.

    Secondly, the water flow of the river Surma will decrease significantly, he said.

    IUCN resident director Dr.Ainun Nishat told bdnews24.com that the construction of Tipaimukh dam will reduce the the natural monsoon flood patterns of the area on which cultivation depends.

    He said the construction of barrage at Fulertal on top of the Tipaimukh dam could seriously reduce the water flow during the dry season.

    "The extent of drop in water flow depends on the volume of water withdrawn through the irrigation canals," he said.

    "We could see the Surma and Kushiara rivers dry up completely during the dry season, he said

    Anu Muhammad, professor of economics at Jahangirnagar University, told bdnews24.com the Tipaimukh dam and Fulertal barrage would spell "a great disaster."

    "Arable land will decline and production of crops fall, leading to a rise in poverty," he said.

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

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

    Tipaimukh dam, Fulertal barrage spell 'disaster' for Sylhet, say experts :: Bangladesh :: bdnews24.com ::
     
  9. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    I don't know how this fits into this particular thread but anyway the Chinese Dam will also affect us as we are always in the receiving end. :(
     
  10. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I am interested in an Bangladeshi opinion on the damming of brahmaputra simply because a few nations may jointly have to approach the UN with this matter, are you concerned with only the Indian dam and Chinese dam is ok??
     
  11. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    No.Chinese Dam is also protested.But the awareness is not much as it is far away(literally).In fact I read somewhere that due to severe protests from India and Bangladesh,Chinese have halted their activity.However I am not sure of this piece of news and I will confirm it as soon as I get hands on those materials.

    But it is confirmed India tried to woo Bangladesh to join hands in protest to Chinese dams.
     
  12. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Well at least some progress.

    India sends information about Tipaimukh dam

    Foreign Minister Dipu Moni today said India finally sent information to Bangladesh about the proposed Tipaimukh Dam after repeated requests.

    The information has been forwarded to the water resources ministry and the Joint Rivers Commission, Bangladesh, Dipu told reporters in the morning after inaugurating a fair organised by the Foreign Office Wives' Association at the state guesthouse 'Padma'.

    "The government will now analyse the data and examine," she said.

    The government will do everything possible to stop construction of the dam if it seems to be a threat to Bangladesh's environment, she added.

    Dipu was confident that the Indian government would not do anything harmful to Bangladesh.

    “Our parliamentary delegation will soon visit the project site in India and submit a report to the government on return. We will take our decision after reviewing the data and the report of the parliamentary body,” the minister said.

    India began construction work of Tipaimukh project damming the river Barak in 2003.

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  13. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Tipaimukh Dam FAQ : Effects and Politics The New Horizon

    i appreciate leonblacks's efforts to raise this issue here but i think above link will clear many misunderstandings where some reasoning of Bangladeshi protests seems exaggerating and baseless. there are many article of same nature in different forums especially Pakistani to use this issue as negative propaganda against india. I am posting only link here on editor's request and would like to encourage readers to discuss any particular sub topic from that link for this issue.

    That which can not be proved numerically is not scientific.
     
  14. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    I know there are some people who are trying to use it for their political gain rather than actually doing anything.Take BNP for example,the main opposition here in BD.They did nothing when the Tipaimukh plans were laid out,but they were in power at that time.But now as the eminent citizens of the country also started expressing their fear about the dam,BNP is getting louder.

    In addition,people are scared of the dam because of Indian secretive attitude about the plans of the dam,until today of course.

    I believe we got enough from Farakka,so how can we trust another Indian dam?
     
  15. luckyy

    luckyy Regular Member

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    bangladesh infect has no problum on Chinese dam ...

    they only have problum with indian dam..

    both dams are on same river Brahmaputra...
     
  16. vish

    vish Regular Member

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    Could it not be that the dam is actually not that big of a disaster that the hype says it is? May be, just may be, this is why the BNP did nothing except for using to gain political mileage?
     
  17. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Nat'l interest first
    Reaffirms PM on Tipai issue; asks BNP to send its own team to site, submit report to JS for discussion
    Staff Correspondent

    Urging main opposition BNP to send its own delegation to the Tipaimukh Dam site, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said decision on giving consent to the dam's construction would be made with the country's interest in mind.

    "I request the BNP to send its own team there and submit its report to the parliament after returning. The parliamentary standing committee team too will go there and submit report. The Awami League government will then decide what will be good for the country," she said.

    The prime minister was speaking at a discussion at Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre in the capital. Awami League (AL) organised the programme to mark its 60th founding anniversary, which was on June 23.

    Hasina, president of the AL, said no decision regarding Tipaimukh Dam would be made that would put the national interest in question.

    The AL chief alleged that the BNP is trying to make the Tipaimukh Dam a political issue to mislead people. "But I have my belief that people of Bangladesh will not be misled," she said.

    She also castigated the BNP for not resolving crucial issues like the Tipaimuk Dam and the Ganges water sharing when they were calling the shots.

    "It is the Awami League which has to fulfil the expectations of this country," she said adding, "As the Awami League was able to overcome the Ganges water problem, it will be able to solve the Tipaimukh problem as well."

    The AL president said no good could be done by those who kill thousands of AL leaders and workers, resort to looting of public money, conduct wide-scale corruption, misuse power and siphon off crores of taka.

    She alleged that the BNP wanted to oust the present government through the BDR incident in February. They want to take political advantage by keeping alive issues like Khaleda's cantonment house and number of front-row seats in parliament, she claimed.

    On the BNP's not joining the parliament, she said, "It is not a game where you can choose to take part or stay on the sideline."

    Hasina called upon her party leaders and workers to get themselves ready to make any kind of sacrifice for meeting the expectations of the people who voted the AL to power.

    On the other much-debated issue of whitening black money, Hasina said the culture of whitening black money started after late Ziaur Rahman assumed power in a military coup after the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It would not stop over night, she added. This time the government in its proposed budget placed conditions on this opportunity so that the money is invested and people get benefited.

    She said many people are criticising this but they forget that former prime minister Khaleda Zia, her sons and former finance minister Saifur Rahman and his family members whitened black money during the last caretaker government's regime.

    The prime minister asked how they got to whiten black money after the Anti-corruption Commission had served notices upon them to submit their wealth statements.

    Hasina paid rich tributes to the founding leaders of AL including Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, Hossain Shaheed Suhrawardi, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman, Liberation War martyrs and party leaders and workers who made supreme sacrifice for the country over the years.

    AL presidium member Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury chaired the discussion conducted by AL publicity secretary Asaduzzaman Noor.

    Workers' Party President Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Party acting chairman Anisul Islam Mahmud, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal President Hasanul Haque and Samyabadi Dal General Secretary Dilip Barua and AL leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Abdur Razzak, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Matia Chowdhury, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir also spoke.

    Noted poet Syed Shamsul Haque and AL leader and state minister for ICT Yafes Osman recited poems at the programme.

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  18. luckyy

    luckyy Regular Member

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    BNP always has a anti-india stand , nothing going to change even the construction work of the dam stops , BNP will then find another issue...
     
  19. Capricorn

    Capricorn Regular Member

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    PM suggests BNP send own Tipai team :: :: bdnews24.com ::



    PM suggests BNP send own Tipai team

    Dhaka, June 24 (bdnews24.com) - Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has suggested the main opposition BNP send its own team of experts to visit the proposed Tipaimukh Dam site in India and report to the government.

    The parliamentary team would also go, she told parliament on Wednesday. "And then the government will do whatever is in Bangladesh's best interests."

    The BNP was asked to provide their MPs' names to be co-opted onto the parliamentary committee that is set to visit the site, said Hasina.

    "But, they gave a list of experts instead. So we request that they themselves send an expert team to visit the dam."

    She said BNP wanted "to play games" without resolving the matter. "They were also in power, but they left office without settling the Tipaimukh issue."

    She said her party and her government would only work in the people's interest. "Awami League will never 'sell out' the country."

    Hitting out at BNP, who have been loud in their protests against the proposed Tipaimukh Dam, Hasina said they came to power in 2001 offering to sell gas to India.

    She also took a swipe at the opposition party's criticism of the money whitening offer in the proposed budget.

    "They should not forget that the prime minister of the BNP government and her two sons, along with their finance minister and his son, whitened black money in the past."

    She criticised the opposition party for remaining away from parliament and said they were "playing a doll's game".
     
  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    A good idea
     
  21. I-G

    I-G Tihar Jail Banned

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    Bangladesh asks India to suspend work at Tipaimukh Dam

    Dhaka, June 28: Bangladesh has asked India to suspend construction at the cross-border Tipaimukh Dam until a parliamentary committee from the country visited the site for an impact assessment as proposed by New Delhi.

    Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, in talks with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Preneet Kaur on sidelines of a conference in New York asked India "not to progress with the construction of the dam until the Parliamentary Standing Committee visited the site and a comprehensive study was done regarding its impact on environment," the foreign office said.

    Moni also "mentioned that India assured Bangladesh of not doing anything detrimental to its interest and Bangladesh would like to believe that," the statement said last night.

    During talks with Kaur, the foreign minister proposed a meeting of Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) and said that joint assessment of the project should be done, as it was "widely believed it would harm the environment of Bangladesh".

    Bangladesh recently decided to send a parliamentary delegation to the site along its northeastern frontier in line with a New Delhi proposal.

    Moni's comment came as leading Bangladeshi water expert Ainun Nishat, who drafted the landmark 1996 Dhaka-New Delhi Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, said in a newspaper interview that the structure was likely to affect the ecosystem of both the countries.


    Bangladesh asks India to suspend work at Tipaimukh Dam
     

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