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Dhaka wants more information from Delhi on Tipaimukh dam

world Updated: Aug 23, 2009 12:03 IST

Ahead of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni's visit to India September 7, Dhaka wants more information on Delhi's plan to build Tipaimukh dam in Manipur state, a senior official has said.

Foreign Secretary Mirajul Quayes described last month's visit to India by a parliamentary team as "useful" and said the data supplied by India was being examined by a committee of experts, New Age newspaper reported on Sunday.

The foreign secretary said Moni's meeting with her Indian counterpart SM Krishna and other Indian leaders would be "watershed".

Dhaka is also preparing for a visit to India by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Dhaka wants to discuss a range of bilateral issues during the visits.

The dam project at Tipaimukh, located 200 km upstream of Barak river from the Bangladesh border, is high on the talks' agenda.

India maintains that the project, required to generate power for its northeastern region, will not hurt Bangladesh but instead will help control floods.

However, main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party of former prime minister Khaleda Zia has joined protests by a section of environmentalists and NGOs who allege that the dam would hit the ecology of the entire region.

There have been protest rallies and a "long march" over the matter. Zia has vowed to oppose the Indian project and alleges that Hasina has "sold out to India" on the issue.