India flays politics over dam in Bangla DHAKA, June 22 – India has criticised the false “propaganda” against the cross-border Tipaimukh Dam in Manipur with its envoy in Dhaka, saying Bangladesh was consulted on the construction of the structure meant for generating hydro-power, reports PTI. “Recently, there has been a lot of agitation on the issue of Tipaimukh Dam... I would like to appeal to the friendly people of Bangladesh not to be misled by false propaganda,” Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty said yesterday at a function, joined by Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni.
“I would like to reiterate that it is a hydroelectric multipurpose project to produce electricity only (and) the project has no component of irrigation and involves no diversion of water for irrigation purposes,” he said referring the construction of Tipaimukh dam in north-eastern India.
Chakravarty’s comments came as the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party of Khaleda Zia said they would seek the international community including the United Nations supports to hold back India from constructing the dam on the Barak River along the northeastern Bangladesh frontier threatening “exposing half of the country to desertification”.
“Construction of a dam at Tipaimukh would be a death- trap for Bangladesh,” BNP vice president Hafizuddin Ahmed told a press conference last week as several experts feared that the structure would hamper the river flow into Bangladesh.
Referring to minutes of past Joint River Commission meetings since 1970s, Chakravarty said India had consulted Bangladesh about the construction of the dam.
“The so-called water experts also say that India has violated international law. There is no binding international law on transnational rivers,” the Indian envoy said.
Moni, however, did not make any comment on the issue but last week she said Dhaka would resolve through talks any dispute with New Delhi over interventions on common rivers.
“If the Tipaimukh or any other structure on upstream Indian regions threatens Bangladesh’s interest, steps will be taken to resolve the dispute through talks,” Moni had told reporters at central Chandpur district.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier this month said Bangladesh would form an all-party parliamentary committee to review the impact and fix the country’s stance on an under- construction cross-border dam in India.
“The government is going to form the all-party parliamentary committee to fix our stance on the Tipaimukh Dam issue,” a prime minister’s office spokesman quoted Hasina as saying as the Indian envoy called on her.
The prime minister, he said, told the Indian envoy that the committee would visit the dam area to review its impact on Bangladesh and submit a report to parliament suggesting, “What stance Bangladesh should take on the issue”.
BNP yesterday said it would join the parliamentary team to visit Tipaimukh site in India if a neutral team of water experts was included in the delegation.