India and Bangladesh hold talks on water issues

Last Updated: Friday, February 1, 2013 - 21:04

Dhaka: India and Bangladesh on Friday reviewed the approaches to study the impact and modelling of India`s proposed cross-border hydroelectric Tipaimukh Dam in a bid to allay Dhaka`s fears that the project would adversely affect water flow.

The review was undertaken as part of the Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) of Bangladesh and India.

"We are discussing the inception reports by the two consultants outlining the approaches they took to study the water modeling and the impact of the mega project on the other side of our (northeastern) borders," JRC member from Bangladesh side Sajjad Hossain told a news agency at the end of the first day of the two-day meeting.

He added that the second sub-group meeting with the Indian side led by his JRC`s Indian counterpart NK Mathur would continue until tomorrow while the joint study was expected to be completed by 2014.

India had earlier in 2011 formally announced its plans to build a hydroelectric dam and irrigation barrage in Manipur on the common Barak River that enters Bangladesh through its northeastern frontier, sparking wide concerns in the lower riparian country.

The two countries last year agreed for the joint study. The first meeting of the sub-group on Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project under the JRC and comprising technical experts from both sides was held in New Delhi between August 27-28, 2012.

During his Dhaka visit in September 2011, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said India would not take steps regarding the Tipaimukh that could adversely affect Bangladesh.

Bangladesh earlier demanded a comprehensive joint study on the proposed mega project to assess the "negative and positive impacts" as experts fared the cross-border structure in India would expose downstream Indian and Bangladeshi regions to severe environmental threats.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 1, 2013 - 21:04

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