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Dhaka gets a stake in Tipaimukh

Thursday, August 30, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
Guwahati, Augus 29, 2012: The Centre has formally agreed to give Bangladesh a stake in the 1,500MW Tipaimukh hydroelectric project. Official sources said this was decided in a two-day meeting of the sub-group on the project under the India-Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission in New Delhi on August 27 and 28.

The decision to constitute the sub-group under the Joint River Commission to go into all aspects of the project was taken on May 7 in New Delhi. External affairs minister S.M. Krishna led the Indian delegation, while Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni led that country’s delegation.

Sources said both sides finalised the terms of reference under which a study would be conducted in Bangladesh territory to assess the impact of the project.

During the meeting, India restated its offer to Bangladesh to take a stake in the Tipaimukh project and handed over the detailed project report to their delegation in this context.

A source said, “The Centre has reiterated the assurance, given at the highest level, that it would not take steps on the project that would adversely impact Bangladesh.”

The 1,500MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project in Manipur has been embroiled in controversy, with stern opposition from Bangladesh.

The project, near the Manipur-Mizoram border, 500 metres downstream of the confluence of the river Barak and Tuivai in Manipur’s Churachandpur district, was given environment clearance in 2008.

Its execution, however, will involve felling of more than 78 lakh trees.

Though the forest advisory committee under the ministry of environment and forests had recommended that a sub-committee along with domain experts in the field of ecology, wildlife, hydrology and others might visit the project site to make an on-the-spot assessment of the impacts, there has been no progress in this regard till date.

Source: The Telegraph
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