Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Bangladesh has reaffirmed its stance seeking a comprehensive joint study on the proposed cross-border Tipaimukh dam to assess the “negative and positive impacts” of the mega project taken by India.
“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,” a foreign ministry press statement said on Friday.
The statement also said the government has raised its concerns and vigorously pursued with the Indian government for safeguarding the interests of Bangladesh with regard to the possible adverse impact of the proposed project.
“On the contrary, the Leader of the Opposition visited India twice as the Prime Minister in 1992 and 2006, but neither the Joint Communiqu, issued on 28 May 1992 nor the Joint Press Statement issued on 23 March 2006 reflects any concern of Bangladesh on the Tipaimukh dam,” it said, adding that there is no indication at all that the issue which is so vitally important to Bangladesh had at all been discussed.
The statement also said the leader of the opposition may like to explain why she did not use the opportunity of her visit to India and her discussions with the Indian leadership to raise this issue and obtain some binding according to her commitment that India would not construct the Tipaimukh dam since it would have such adverse impact on Bangladesh.
A written assurance was subsequently issued by the Indian side, asserting that the project did not contain any elements for diversion or withdrawal of waters. However, Bangladesh has maintained that there should be a comprehensive study of the adverse impacts of as well as benefits to be accrued to Bangladesh from the project, according to the statement.
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 Mr. Singh to convey Dhaka’s persisting concern centering the project.
BBN/SSR/AD-10Dec11-1:16 am (BST)