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India to discuss on Tipaimukh with B’desh: Pala
Correspondent SHILLONG, AUG 10:
Published on 10 Aug. 2009 11:44 PM IST
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Union Minister of State for Water Resources, Vincent K. Pala today said India is ready to discuss with Bangladesh over the issue for the construction of the 1500 MW multi-purpose Tipaimukh hydro-electric project in Manipur. “We are always ready to hold a dialogue with Bangladesh to further clear their grievances over the issue of Tipaimukh dam,” Pala said. Pala’s statement assumed significance in the wake of his Bangladesh counterpart Mahbubur Rahman said that Dhaka will call for dialogue with India to resolve the issue. “We are sharing a better and best relationship with our neighbouring country. We will do our best to make them understand on the issue,” Pala said. Making it clear that Bangladesh cannot force India to stop the multi-purpose Tipaimukh hydro-electric project, the Union Minister said, the dam has been designed in such a way that it will not affect the downstream in Bangladesh. Earlier, a ten-member Bangladeshi parliamentary team that visited India to assess the environmental impact of the Tipaimukh project was ‘convinced’ that the project will not affect their Country. However, the anti-Tipaimukh project refused to die down in Bangladesh with the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) joining the protest led by NGOs. Protestors in Bangladesh have already launched a ‘long-march’ to protest the proposed construction of Tipaimukh dam. The “long march” was flagged off Saturday and should reach Sylhet, located 272 km northeast of Dhaka, by Tuesday. The district borders India’s Assam and Meghalaya states. The march is aimed at creating awareness among the people against the construction of the Tipaimukh dam as well as to forge national unity on the issue, quoting the organisers, The Daily Star reported. Meanwhile, the Border Security Force (BSF) troops have been put on alert as 12,000 protestors from Bangladesh advanced towards the Indian borders in a Long March to protest the Tipaimukh dam in the Assam-Manipur-Mizoram trijunction. ‘’ The BSF troops are on alert in view of the Long March and we will ensure that no untoward situation arises,’’ a BSF spokesperson informed over phone from the border.

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