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Jt survey on Tipaimukh project may start in 2 months

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
Dhaka, Jul 16 (PTI) Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni today said a joint survey with India on a contentious cross- border hydro project is expected to start in the next two months with the two countries in the process of finalising the names of the surveyors.

India's plans to build a hydroelectric dam and irrigation barrage on the common Barak River that enters Bangladesh through its northeastern frontier, had sparked wide concerns in the lower riparian country. "The process is underway to launch the joint survey... we expect the joint survey to start in next two months," Moni told a discussion on the Indo-Bangla relations here. She said Bangladesh had already sent a list of its representatives to be incorporated in the joint survey team and it is now awaiting a list from the Indian side. Bangladesh had demanded a comprehensive joint study on the proposed cross-border Tipaimukh Dam to assess the "negative and positive impacts" as experts feared the cross-border structure would expose downstream Indian and Bangladeshi regions to severe environmental threats. Asked about the latest status of the agreement on water sharing of the common Teesta River, Moni said Bangladesh was waiting for India to resolve it's "internal process". "Our stand on the Teesta issue remains unchanged... we await for inking the deal," she said on the proposed agreement that was scuttled last year by last minute opposition from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. On the development on exchange of cross-border enclaves and land in adverse possession, Moni said the two countries signed an agreement during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Dgaka visit last year and the deal would be implemented as soon as the Indian parliament ratified the treaty. "We await the ratification of the treaty in Indian parliament in any of its next sessions... you know both the ruling and opposition parties have a consensus on the matter," she said.

~From Anisur Rahman   (PTI)
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