B`desh for joint study on cross-border dam in India

Bangladesh sought a comprehensive joint study with India on a proposed cross-border dam to assess the "negative and positive impacts" of the hydropower project in Manipur.

Last Updated: Dec 09, 2011, 22:14 PM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh on Friday sought a comprehensive
joint study with India on a proposed cross-border dam to
assess the "negative and positive impacts" of the hydropower
project in Manipur.

"The present government has all along been very alert and
sensitive on the issue of the proposed Tipaimukh dam on the
Barak River in the Indian State of Manipur," said a foreign
office statement.

"There should be a comprehensive study of the adverse
impacts of as well as benefits to be accrued to Bangladesh
from the project," it said.

The statement also noted that despite being an issue of
prime concern the past BNP-led regime took no step to raise
Dhaka`s concern to India and the joint statements issued
during incumbent opposition leader and ex-premier` Khaleda
Zia`s 1992 and 2006 New Delhi visit had no mention of the
issue.

"On the contrary, the Leader of the Opposition visited
India twice as the Prime Minister in 1992 and 2006, but
neither the Joint Communique issued on 28 May 1992 nor the
Joint Press Statement issued on March 23, 2006 reflects any
concern of Bangladesh on the Tipaimukh dam," it said.

It acknowledged the "written Indian assurance" and
repeated assurances by New Delhi including Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh`s promises of doing nothing affecting
Bangladesh in implementing the project but stick to its call
for a joint survey.

A foreign office spokesman said that the statement
actually was issued to remove any confusion in public mind as
the controversies over the issue and negate impacts of
misleading campaigns in public mind.

The statement came a week after New Delhi issued a
statement on the issue after two advisers to Bangladesh Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina visited the Indian capital and met
Singh to convey Dhaka`s persisting concern centering the
project.

The long statement in chronological order described in
details the developments centring the project saying the
incumbent government "raised its concerns and vigorously
pursued with the New Delhi for safeguarding the interests of
Bangladesh with regard to the possible adverse impact of the
proposed project."

PTI