‘Bangladesh opposition misleading public on Indian project’

July 19th, 2009 - 11:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, July 19 (IANS) Bangladesh’s main opposition is “misleading” the people on the proposed Indian dam at Tipaimukh with data and information that is “flawed”, said the head of the parliamentary team that will visit the project site in Manipur late this month.
Joining the battle on behalf of the government, Abdur Razzak, a freedom fighter and former water resources minister, hit out at the opposition leader and former prime minister Khaleda Zia for campaigning against the project on the basis of information that was “incorrect, imaginary and motivated”, Star Online reported.

Citing a survey conducted by SNC Lavalin International, Northwest Hydrolic Consultant Ltd and four others consultant firms about the impact of the proposed Tipaimukh dam over Barak river, Razzak said, “The dam would rather put positive impact on Bangladesh,” web site of The Daily Star quoted him as saying.

These studies were being deliberately concealed from the public by Zia and her colleagues, he alleged.

The information about the proposed Tipaimukh dam that the BNP gave Saturday at a seminar was flawed, Abdur Razzak said.

Razzak will lead a 10-member team that will visit New Delhi and be briefed by Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal before proceeding to the site of the proposed dam in Manipur in India’s northeastern region.

Razzak spoke to media a day after Zia and her arch rival, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, spoke at different forums on the subject.

The team with lawmakers, water resource experts and officials is scheduled to leave here July 29.

Zia has so far withheld nominating two law makers of her party and insisted that the team include “neutral” experts.

Her party has in the meantime joined protests by a section of environmentalists and NGOs who say the dam, if built by India, will have deleterious impact on Bangladesh’s environment.

India proposes to construct the dam, 200 km upstream of Bangladesh border on river Barak to generate electricity for the energy-starved and underdeveloped northeastern region.

Barak flows into Bangladesh as two rivers, Surma and Kushiara before merging into Meghna river system.

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