News and Update: Books on Tipaimukh dam released

‘Building Tipaimukh Dam a violation of UN convention’: Two books on dam launched

Staff Correspondent, The Daily Star, October 10, 2007. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Construction of Tipaimukh Dam, a project of India, on the river Barak in Manipur is a violation of UN Watercourse Convention, speakers at a book launching ceremony said yesterday. Experts and environmental activists termed the Tipaimukh Dam on the common river with Bangladesh a serious threat to the river system, bio-diversity, ecology, agriculture, fisheries and socio-economy of Bangladesh.

Two books titled ‘No To Tipaimukh Dam!’ and ‘Controversial Tipaimukh Dam: Overall Overview’ were launched at the ceremony at the National Press Club. The Angikar Bangladesh Foundation, publisher of the books, organised the event. The book ‘No To Tipaimukh Dam!’ is based on the International Tipaimukh Dam Conference held in Dhaka in December 2005 while the other book is a research paper by M Anowar Hossain.

The environmental activists urged the peoples of both the countries to resist the construction of the dam. The Tipaimukh Dam would displace millions of people as well as damage the heritage and livelihoods of the people in the two countries, they said.

The dam would have a serious negative impact on agriculture and the environment of Bangladesh and it would also put the region at greater risk of earthquake, said Prof Nazrul Islam, chairman of University Grants Commission. “We are not against development activities,” Prof Nazrul said, adding that but such a dam would bring disasters instead of creating positive impact.

“The river Barak has entered into Bangladesh through Zakiganj in Sylhet and is flowing into two directions — Surma and Kushiyara. The Tipaimukh dam will choke up both the rivers during the dry season and leave similar effect on Bangladesh as the Farakka Barrage is doing,” Abul Mal Abdul Muhit said.

Dr MA Matin, general secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon, Farah Kabir, country director of ActionAid, Prof ABM Faruque and Muhammad Hilaluddin of Angikar Bangladesh Foundation also spoke.

Sign the petition: Let the Barak river run free, cancel the Tipaimukh dam

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