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B’desh high commissioner visits Tipaimukh Dam
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 22
Published on 22 Apr. 2010 11:02 PM IST
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Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq A Karim arrived here in Imphal on Wednesday for his three day visit in Manipur and on Thursday reviewed the ground reality of the controversial proposed construction of Tipaimukh Dam with officials of the Manipur government. The High Commissioner held a meeting with Manipur governor, Gurbachan Jagat and was scheduled to meet the chief minister Ibobi Singh.
Tipaimukh Dam is to be built on the river Barak in Manipur. The project has sparked off controversy as India has unilaterally planned to build the dam just 100 km off the Bangladesh border and is likely to affect two major rivers of Bangladesh, namely the Surma and the Kushiara.
The project is also likely to affect 60000 Manipuris depending on the river for livelihood and other activities. Bangladeshi experts estimated that the massive dam will disrupt the seasonal rhythm of the river and have an adverse effect on downstream agriculture and fisheries. Despite the objections from various civil organisations both in India and Bangladesh, the government of India has decided to proceed with the construction of dam.
The people in Manipur and Bangladesh have been strongly opposing this project for a long time, but the NHPC, Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam and Manipur government are signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to start the 1500 MW project.
The proposed Tipaimukh project on the River Barak will have adverse impact on the ecology, environment and economy of the northeastern region of Bangladesh, according to the experts and environmentalists. Considering the location of Manipur which is located in the highly seismic five zones of the globe, they are demanding scrapping of the dam.
A handful of protests have been witnessed in Manipur, Mizoram, Barak Valley of Assam, besides many others in Bangladesh. They are demanding an extensive downstream environmental impact study from the proposed dam site up to sea-mouth and conduct of the study at the initiative of the Government of India and Bangladesh, where experts from Non Government Organizations, particularly, from the environmental outfits, IITs and Universities.
The proposed dam falls at the confluence of Indo-Burma, Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese biodiversity hotspot zone. Of the recent, a massive rally in Manipur’s Ukhrul district had submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister of India demanding scraping of the Dam.
among others demands of review of big dam projects in the north eastern part of the country.
The visit of the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the dam site was the second time since objections to the construction of the dam rose up from people of the country and opposition political parties. In the last week of July last year, a 10-member all-party delegation of parliamentarians of Bangladesh had visited the dam site and studied the possible impacts by the project.

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