B`desh to send high level delegation to India on Tipaimukh

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DHAKA, Nov 24 (agencies): Bangladesh will send a high level delegation to India to discuss the Tipaimukh dam issue, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has told the country`s parliament as the opposition stepped up attack on her government over its perceived failure in protecting its interests.

Addressing a press conference, Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said, India had repeatedly promised not to go for any project that might cause harm to downstream Bangladesh and “we want to keep our trust in them”.

“If anything goes wrong, we will immediately lodge protests,” she said, adding she could neither express concern nor satisfaction before a detailed `evaluation` of the proposed Indian project on Barak river in Manipur. Moni said India has assured it will not divert water from the river.

Hasina last night said that a high-level delegation would be sent to India to discuss the issue, while proposals have also been made to conduct a joint study to asses Tipaimukh`s viability.

“We have information that the Tipaimukh dam project would take 87 months for implementation and the Indian central government has yet to approve it,” Moni told journalists at a crowded press conference at her ministry here today.

A separate statement from the ministry foreign affairs later supplemented Moni`s statement saying once again India has clarified that the project would be “a hydro-electric project with provision to control floods”.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes note of the assurance by the government of India that the project would not involve any diversion of water for any purpose,” it said.

The statement said the governments of Bangladesh and India have reached an understanding to work together to harness the synergies on water resources management and hydro-power development in a regional and sub-regional context.

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