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Bangla asks India to stop work at dam till its committee visit

world Updated: Jun 28, 2009 13:16 IST
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Bangladesh has asked India to suspend construction at the cross-border Tipaimukh Dam until a parliamentary committee from the country visited the site for an impact assessment as proposed by New Delhi.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, in talks with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Preneet Kaur on sidelines of a conference in New York asked India "not to progress with the construction of the dam until the Parliamentary Standing Committee visited the site and a comprehensive study was done regarding its impact on environment," the foreign office said.

Moni also "mentioned that India assured Bangladesh of not doing anything detrimental to its interest and Bangladesh
would like to believe that," the statement said last night.

During talks with Kaur, the foreign minister proposed a meeting of Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) and said that joint assessment of the project should be done, as it was "widely believed it would harm the environment of Bangladesh".

Bangladesh recently decided to send a parliamentary delegation to the site along its northeastern frontier in line with a New Delhi proposal.

Moni's comment came as leading Bangladeshi water expert Ainun Nishat, who drafted the landmark 1996 Dhaka-New Delhi Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, said in a newspaper interview that the structure was likely to affect the ecosystem of both the countries.