Friday, December 9, 2011

Gowher’s Tipaimukh Remarks Draw Protest

 ‘We wonder whose interest Mr. Gowher Rizvi is serving,’ they said.

The International Farakka Committee on Thursday blasted prime minister’s foreign affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi for dismissing as ‘groundless’ expert opinion that India’s controversial Tipaimukh dam would adversely affect lower riparian Bangladesh.

The committee president Aitiqur Rahman Khan Esufzai and secretary Syed Tipu Sultan in a statement asked Gowher Rizvi to explain on what basis he trashed the opinion of the experts.
‘We are amazed to by the remarks of the prime minister’s adviser,’ they said.

The demanded to know on what basis Gowher Rzvi made the remarks.
Gowher Rizvi should stop making such unsubstantiated remarks which are damaging for Bangladesh.
They said that Gowher’s remarks seek to belittle Bangladeshi experts.
‘We strongly condemn his remarks,’ they said.

They said that India never shared any technical data on the Tipaimukh dam with Bangladesh despite repeated requests from the lower riparian country.
The Indian government never provide any information to Bangladesh, they said.

They said India recently concluded investment deals for the dam construction in total secrecy without caring to inform Bangladesh.
They said that the only basis of Rizvi’s remarks seems to be assurances from Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh.

They said Gowher is no expert on environment, water or seismic matters.
Besides, they said as an individual who is not an economist how could he say that the Tipaimukh project would economically benefit Bangladesh.

He thinks Bangladesh would benefit from electricity to be generated by Tipaimukh dam if it invests in the project.
They said he forgot about Bangladesh’s right to common rivers by mixing it up with the unrelated issue importing electricity.

Moreover, he ignored the huge adverse environmental and ecological impacts of large dams that would outweigh the supposed benefits from hydro-electricity, they said.
They said that there was the extra danger of dam collapse due to earthquakes to which India’s north east was vulnerable.

They said that former Indian high commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakrabarty had also issued a similar statement.