Green group opposes Bangladesh’s Tipaimukh survey team

Proposed Tipaimukh Dam in India

The Daily Star Online Report August 13, 2012

Environmentalist on Monday demanded removal of the currently nominated Bangladeshi members of Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) and withdrawal of the investment Bangladesh has planned for the proposed Tipaimukh dam project.

The nominated JRC members of Bangladesh side are inexperienced and incapable of undertaking responsibilities of the project, Dhaka University teacher Prof Dr Asif Nazrul said.

Independent study by Bangladesh stressed

He was addressing a press conference jointly organised by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and Jatiya Nodi Rokkha Andolon at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.

টিপাইমুখের সমীক্ষা দল নিয়ে বাপার আপত্তি

Raising eyebrows at the government’s stance, Asif Nazrul said, “Two members from the Bangladeshi side — Mir Sazzad Hossain and engineer MA Kashem — have no experience or expertise of handling the issue while the others are bureaucrats who do not have independent opinion for placing argument in the meeting.”

Experts stress detail study on Tipaimukh

He also demanded an explanation why people such as noted climate expert Prof Ainun Nishat or Dr Akbar Ali Khan, former adviser to the caretaker government, were not nominated for the committee, as it was proposed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith.

The speakers urged to constitute a “neutral committee” comprising foreign experts to assess the impact of the project.

The demands came prior to a meeting between the Bangladeshi members and their Indian counterparts slated on August 27-28 in New Delhi to study the impacts of the Tipaimukh dam project.

Bapa General Secretary Dr Abdul Matin said, “The country would be able to bear the expenses required to produce electricity as the project would take at least 10 years to complete with an approximate expenditure of $1.73 billion.”

Bapa President ASM Shahjahan also addressed the programme.