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Confident India will do nothing harmful on river project: Bangladesh

world Updated: Jun 20, 2009 14:12 IST

IANS
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Bangladesh has expressed confidence that India would do "nothing harmful" on a proposed river dam in Manipur state in north-eastern India, a minister has said.

Dhaka would do "everything possible if the dam proves to be a threat to Bangladesh's environment", Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters on Friday.

She said ahead of a visit to the project site by a Bangladeshi parliamentary team, India had sent information to Dhaka acceding to the latter's request.

Media reports here said Dhaka feels that India has been "secretive" about the data of the project and has not taken the lower riparian neighbour into confidence before floating international tenders for the dam's construction.

"The Indian government has provided data to the water resources ministry and Joint Rivers Commission (JRC)," Moni was quoted as saying by The Daily Star newspaper.

JRC was set up in the 1970s to cooperate on the sharing of river systems that the two South Asian neighbours share.

Moni said a parliamentary delegation would soon visit the project site in the Indian state of Manipur and submit a report to the government.

"We will scrutinise the data and report of the parliamentary delegation. The government will do whatever is good for the country," said the foreign minister.

India started the construction of Tipaimukh Dam on river Barak in 2003 to generate electricity.

Since the river Barak-Surma-Kushyara is an international river, Bangladesh as a lower riparian country should have an equitable share of water, Dhaka argues.

Part of the larger Brahmaputra river system, the Barak River enters into Bangladesh as Kushiyara and travels further downstream by the name Surma.