Call for nat'l committee to halt Tipai project
The representatives of International Farakka Committee (INC) yesterday called on the government to form a national committee and hold a convention to halt the Tipaimukh dam project in order to protect the country from turning into a desert.
“The whole nation is united on this issue. The government should take this opportunity to form a national committee to preserve the right of water of the countrymen through resisting construction of Tipaimukh dam,” said Atiqur Rahman Salu, chairman of INC.
The chairman of INC, a New York-based trans-boundary water rights group, made the call while addressing newsmen at a press conference at the National Press Club in the city.
Terming Tipaimukh dam a multilateral problem, he opined for formation of an international river commission like Mekong River Commission by incorporating neighbouring countries like China, Nepal and Bhutan.
He called on the government to raise the Tipaimukh dam issue in the 6th committee of the United Nations or in the international forum if Indian government does not cancel its plan to construct the dam.
On behalf of the organisation, Atiq announced a team of experts to collect and analysis information or documents regarding Tipaimukh dam.
“The committee will continue negotiations with the expert teams declared by the government and opposition BNP. It will cooperate with the experts if needed,” he said.
The INC-declared experts are Dr M Adel Miah, professor of University of Arkansas of the USA; Dr Manirul Kader Mirza, professor of Toronto University of Canada; Dr Khalekuzzaman, professor of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania; Dr ISI Khan, former water specialist of Bangladesh to UN; Dr Jasim Uddin Ahmed, former vice chancellor of Jahangirnagar University; and Dr Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University.
The main aim of the committee is to create public awareness of the adverse impacts of the dam and form a public opinion against the Indian initiative and monitor other national expert teams.
Addressing a press conference, Dr Asif said, “Initially, my name was included in the expert team drafted by BNP. But I denied to work under any political banner.”
He strongly criticised the Indian High commissioner to Bangladesh for his recent derogatory remark about the local water experts.
Experts Dr Jashim Uddin Ahmed, Dr ISI Khan, Mostafa Kamal Majumder, editor of the New Nation, and former minister MA Mannan were present at the press conference.