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JRC meets to assess Tipaimukh impact

The Joint River Commission (JRC) of Dhaka and New Delhi yesterday began a two-day meeting related to a joint study on the proposed Tipaimukh Dam to assess its possible impacts on the two neighbouring countries.

“We are discussing the inception reports by the two consultants, outlining the approaches they took to study the water modelling and assess the impact of the mega project on the other side of our (north-eastern) borders," Sajjad Hossain, JRC member from Bangladesh side, told BSS at the end of the first day's meeting.

The second sub-group meeting with the Indian side led by NK Mathur would continue until today while the joint study was expected to be completed by 2014, he added.

Earlier in 2011, India formally announced its plan to build a hydroelectric dam and irrigation barrage on the Barak River that enters Bangladesh through its north-eastern frontier, sparking wide concerns in the lower riparian country.

Last year, the two countries agreed to conduct the joint study. The first meeting of the sub-group on Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project under the JRC was held in New Delhi on August 27-28, 2012.

During his Dhaka visit in September 2011, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his country would not take any steps regarding the Tipaimukh that could adversely affect Bangladesh.

Bangladesh earlier demanded a comprehensive joint study on the proposed mega project to assess its "negative and positive impacts" as experts feared that the cross-border structure in India would expose the downstream regions to severe environmental threats.

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