Guwahati, Monday, October 29, 2012
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India-Bhutan-Bangladesh may jointly harness
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, Oct 28 – Bound by the river Brahmaputra, Bangladesh together with India and Bhutan would try to collectively harness the power potential of this mighty river.

All three countries would soon convene a meeting, initiated by Bangladesh, for “better management” of the Brahmaputra river basin, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, Tariq Karim said here last evening.

“All the three countries are bound together by the mighty Brahmaputra, although separated politically. So we are trying means to cooperate in harnessing the power and force of this mighty river,” he added.

Karim was accompanied by Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina’s International Affairs Adviser, Dr G Rigvi, who called upon Meghalaya Chief Minister at his office.

“Bangladesh would convene a meeting of Bhutan, India and Bangladesh on Brahmaputra basin management,” Karim said.

Stating that the people of India, Bhutan and Bangladesh are the “children” of this mighty river, Karim said, “The river cannot be tamed and harnessed in segments, but has to be done collectively and the participation of States like Assam and Meghalaya is of utmost importance,” he added.

Karim said if the project materialises as envisioned, then the entire subcontinent would be benefitted. “This is a big project and it has the potential of transforming the entire region in terms of development,” the High Commissioner said.

China is building a dam on the upper stretches on the river Brahamputra, which has alarmed India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Myanmar. The unilateral decision of China has not been appreciated by these nations.

Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi delegation said that it is also trying to develop a thermal power plant in Bangladesh using coal from Meghalaya. As in the case with cement giant Lafarge, the coal would be transported through a conveyor belt to reduce cost.

The Bangladesh officials said that it is also trying to have a power transmission link between India and Bangladesh through Meghalaya’s Cherrapunji stretch.

Bangladesh which is power deficit is trying to revamp the sector through various means. Karim said his country has lined up very “ambitious projects for the next 30 years. “We foresee power trading. Deficit areas could benefit from surplus areas.”

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