India, B'desh to meet on Tipaimukh dam on Aug 27

India has told Bangladesh that it is now ready for a bilateral meeting of experts from both the countries on Tipaimukh dam for two days in New Delhi from August 27.

According to a senior official of the Central Water Commission in Shillong, the members of this expert group, to be drawn from both the nations, have already been constituted.

He said the group members are experts in hydrology and river engineering.

A few officials of the flood control and water resources departments will also figure as delegates, according to a report carried by The Telegraph.

The discussion will focus on arriving at a consensus on the construction of the 162-foot dam on the Barak.

The Rs 7,600-crore Tipai-mukh dam project, meant to control the recurring floods in the Barak Valley districts under south Assam and to generate 1,500MW hydel power, has run into various problems.

A number of the NGOs and scientists of the Northeast, particularly in Manipur and Assam’s Cachar district, and Bangladesh are opposing the project.

The Opposition party in Bangladesh, the BNP, headed by the former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, organised a big motor rally in Sylhet district on December 1 last year in protest against the proposed construction of this project.

The Angikar Bangladesh Foundation, spearheaded by some leading civil engineers in that country, has also opposed this project.

The chief director of the NGO, Muhammad Hilaluddin, recently called upon like-minded environmentalists and river specialists of both the countries to join their hands in opposing the project.

The meeting is aimed at dispelling doubts on the project, the CWC official added.

The opposition of a large number of Bangladeshis against the Tipaimukh project is mainly based on the “wrong and ill-conceived ideas emanating from the fears of the desertification of the Meghna valley under Sylhet division”.

Hence, the experts of both the nations should clarify the benefits to accrue from this project, he added.

Official sources here said the National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC), a public sector undertaking, has bagged the contract in a joint venture with its subsidiary named Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam, to commission the Tipaimukh project in seven years after its construction gets off the ground. An agreement in this connection was inked in Imphal on October 22 last year.

News Source: 
UNB