Silchar, June 6: A sub-committee of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint River Commission will meet in New Delhi later this month to review the controversial Tipaimukh dam project, which is expected to generate 1,500MW of hydel power and tame floods in south Assam.
According to a senior official of the Central Water Commission (CWC), the date for this crucial meeting would soon be fixed after mutual consultation between the two countries. The source said the Centre is “peeved” with the inordinate delay in executing the Rs 8,500-crore scheme.
D.B. Singh, secretary in the water resources ministry, reportedly made it clear that setting up of the project in Manipur’s Churachandpur district depends on clearance from the Bangladesh government.
Singh had also added that technical personnel of the ministry would go further upstream of river Barak to find out another site for the multi-purpose Barak project.
There are many misgivings among Dhaka authorities and environmental NGOs about the Tipaimukh project, as there is a fear that the flow of Barak would be minimised when it enters Bangladesh, causing possible desertification of land in Sylhet and Coomilla divisions of the neighbouring country.
India has already suggested that a joint team of river experts and senior officials of both countries should visit the dam site, about 125km southeast from here, to review the project’s suitability.
The Tipaimukh project aims at setting up a 162-metre dam on the Barak river to produce 1,500MW, control floods and help in smooth navigation of steamers in south Assam districts and in Bangladesh.
The latest report prepared by Shillong-based Northeastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (Neepco) envisages commissioning of six turbines of 250MW capacity each as part of this ambitious project. An official source here said the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) in collaboration with Sutlej Hydroelectric Corporation (SHC), an unit of Himachal Pradesh government, have been vested with the responsibility of commissioning the project.
A 10-member team of journalists from Bangladesh today flew out of here to the project site for an on-spot survey.
Earlier, another team of reporters from Dhaka had visited New Delhi to review the project with Indian authorities.