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Tipaimukh Dam: Is Bangladesh in the face of impending danger ? November 23, 2011

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India has unilaterally signed an agreement for construction of Tipaimukh dam over Barak river in Monipur state of India.without counsulting or informing Bangladesh. This is against the norms and expectation as per international law. This is also against the bilateral agreements signed between India and Bnagladesh at differet times.

India was always giving hope that it will not do anything that will adversly affect Bangladesh. Even Monmohan when last visited Bangladesh when visited a few months back retaliated the same assurance. But in practice they are giving little heed to the interest of Bangladesh.

Regarding Tipaimukh dam, there is argument against the barrage within India also. The water experts and envronmentalists are agaisnt the barrage . They warn of econological disaster if the dam is constructed. The people of Monipur are protesting against the attempt of the central government. They are afraid of submersion of a large area in the vacinily, displacement of people and deprivation of livelihood. The dam will create havoc to the people on the downside of the river in Bnagladesh.

From the Bangladesh Government side, the State Minister of Water resource first speak on the issue. He said that it is an internal affair of India and India assured that it will not do anything that will harm Bangladesh. But the citizen groups and experts of Bangladesh expressed their concern over the issue and stand against the construction of the dam. Opposition BNP has taken up the issue to expose the weak stand of the government on the issue.

Frustration of people against the goverment is increasing and the odinary citizen fears that it will frustration of people will be reflected in the next general election.

An ordinary citizen

Follow up:
Government at last responded to the issue. A statement from Foreign Ministry said that the government seek explaination on the issue from the Indian Government.
Prime Minister also spoke in the parliament toady and said that Bangladeesh will not tolerate any attempt that mayy affect the welfare of the people of Bangladesh.
But the tone of Bangladesh Minister Dipu Moni is softer and while she says that Bangladesh is convinced with the assurance of India that it will not do anything that will harm Bangladesh.
In the meantime BNP chairperson sent a letter to Indiam PM to settle the Tipaimukh issue by bilateral negotiation, joint survey and expert opinion.
Question is also arose whether Bangladesh should go to the international court. The Government yet not decided on the issue.

Bangladesh in Copenhagen Climate Change Conference December 30, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Climate Change, ENVIRONMENT, POLITICS.
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Bangladesh was eagerly waiting for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of December 6 to December 18, 2009.

Bangladesh deligates from experts to ministers attended the meeting in flocks. It is learned that 86 persons from Bangladesh attended the conference. PM Hasina also cancelled her schedule of visiting India to attend the summmit and left home on 14th December for Copenhagen. It was hoped that Bangladesh would play a leading role among the developing countries in the conference. Bangladesh has taken a fully active role in the group of LDCs for additional financing and for recognitionof its case. Bangladesh depicts as the poster child of the climate change along with Maldives and few paacific islands. Bangladesh sees its recognition as one of the most vulnerable countries as great achievment of the conference.

Bangladeshis is praised for adaptation to climate change but we are not sure how far Bangladeshis have adapted themselves to overcome the consequences of climate change.

UN reports that 17% of the low costal area will be submerged with the rise of 1 meter sea water due to the effect of global warming.

One interesting devopment is that US President Barack Obama telephoned Bangladesh PM before her joining the conference hoping Bangladesh would play a reasonable role in the conference.

PM Hasina in her speech in the conference expressed satisfaction over the deal in the Copenhagen and hope remining unsolved issues will be sort out soon.

But the Climate Conference ended with bare minimum consensus.

An ordinary citizen

Bangladesh and climate migration October 15, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Climate Change, ENVIRONMENT.
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The impact of climate change has started affecting Banglades. Bangladesh had already experienced devastating cyclone ‘Sidr’ and ‘Aleya’ in the last years. While Sidr has caused more deaths of human lives and damage to the corps, houses and cattles, Cyclone Aleya surged the sea water into the coastal belt and submesed huge area under saline water making the life difficult for the people living there.

Bangladesh is one of the prime victim of the climate change as it is located at the apex of the Bay of Bengal and is a low lying country. It is said that 1/3 of Bangladesh will submerge under sea water by next 50 years and 20 million people will find no soil to stand on.

What is the way out to keep the people of Bangladesh and other low lying countries survive the onslaught?

The Bangladesh Govt is pressing for compensation from the developed countries who are mainly responsible for the carbon emmission and the climate change. The billion dollars that Bangladesh is claming may not be enough to protect it’s shore from the incusion of saline water.

The only way left would be to migrate the affected people to other parts of the country or other parts of the world. Bangladesh already so densely populated that it would be impossible for itself to accomodate the displaced people in its would be shrinked territory.

World bodies should think seriously about the necessity of climate migration and formulate the policies to protect the right to live of the victims of climate change.

An ordinary citizen

Towards Recognition-Creating Awareness for Climate Migrants

Climate Ark- Climate Change and Global Warming Portal

A Pinak Ranjan and his few comments July 24, 2009

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, Diplomacy., ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, Flood.
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Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty, the Indian High Commissioner has made some comments in the last few months which has stirred the people and politics in Bangladesh to an unexpected level.

His comment on transit

>”transit is an economic issue, not a political issue”

first got immediate reaction from different sectors.

State Minister for Foriegn Affairs of the new Government Mahmud Hasan later tried to defend his comment saying that ‘some people unnecessarily link transit with politics’.

On June 21, 2009 Pinak Ranjan lamblasted the water experts of Bangladesh by saying

”some ‘so-called water experts’ are making comments without considering issues relating to the flow of the Ganges water’… ‘Clearly, the question of Bangladesh not getting its due share of water under this treaty is an empty slogan’. He also added, “Unfortunately, criticism of India and India-phobia has become an instrument for deriving political mileage for a particular section whose antecedents are well-known’. On Timaimukh he said,’There has been a lot of agitation on the issue of Tipaimukh Dam. It is a hydroelectric multipupose project to produce eecricity only. It will also, to some extent, help in flood control. The project has no component of irrigation and involves no diversion of water for irrigation purposes. The feasibility and design of Tipaimukh has been studied and examined threadbare by various experts over the last 40 years and India provided all details on the proposed project to Bangladesh’

He was speaking at a seminar on ‘South Asian Connectivity: Bangladesh Perspective’ at Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka.

The comment drew immediate reaction from experts, politicians and people alike. It is assumed that Bangladesh has got little documents on Timaimukh dam from India. That’s why the present government asked India to supply all the documents when the controversy started to get heat.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said afterwards that Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty might have violated diplomatic norms through his comments on controversial Tipaimukh dam and Bangladeshi water experts.

But LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam a day after contradicted with the comment of Foreign Minister saying that he personally thinks that Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty had not flouted diplomatic norms through his comment on Tipaimukh dam.

His latest comment at a conference on ‘Bangladesh-India Economic Relations’ in the city lately also drew criticism

”around 25000 of the Bangladeshis who entered India with legal visa each year never did return to Bangladesh”.

At last the Government of Bangladesh had to come up with the statement to refute the allegation raised by Pinak Ranjan as ‘ his observation does not match with the information avaialble with the government’.

People of Bangladesh always want a peaceful and friendly relation with India. Abdul Kalam, eminent Scientist and former President of India in his recent visit to Bangladesh assured that India will not do anything that will harm Bangladesh.

A comment of an speaker in a talk show may have some truth when he says that India will never prosper by keeping Bangladesh poor, her prosperity will always be at stake if Bangladesh remain poor because of her policy and planning.

Whether Pinak is doing diplomatically good thing by provoking anti-Indian and anti-Tipaimukh sentiment-is beyond the scope of an ordinary citizen, but otherwise he is a man of good composure and of fine linguistic ability.

An ordinary citizen

Exploring and Understanding Tipaimukh Dam May 31, 2009


Tipaimuks DamTimaimukh Dam has drawn much public and media attention by this time. Protests, demonstrations and discussions are going on in Bangladesh and elsewhere.

The Bangladesh Government has decided to send a Parliamentary Committee to visit the Tipaimukh Dam to understand the impact the Dam on Bangladesh. Later the Government expressed to include the experts in the Committee or a separate Expert Committee to explore the dam. 

The ordinary citizen/s  has  little chance to visit the dam physically, so let us explore the dam from the contents of the Internet which may give us a better view of the problem.

Thangkhenlal Ngaihte describes the story so far from Indian perspective http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Building_of_Tipaimukh_Dam.Tipaimukh_Dam_The_story_so_far

A details of the project is described by Dr. Soibam Ibotombi, who teaches Earth Science at Manipur University     http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Building_of_Tipaimukh_Dam.TIPAIMUKH_DAM_a_geotectonic_blunder_I

Along  with Dr. Debabrat Roy, Dr. Soibam Ibotomi spells  complicated disater for Bangladesh http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Building_of_Tipaimukh_Dam.TIPAIMUKH_DAM_a_geotectonic_blunder_II

Jalal Moin describes the parliament on Surma http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Building_of_Tipaimukh_Dam.Surma_hosts_Tipaimukh_Dam_Parliament

 David Buhril asks whether the dam is for development  or destruction in a series of articles http://www.e-pao.net/epSubPageExtractor.asp?src=news_section.opinions.Opinion_on_Building_of_Tipaimukh_Dam.Tipaimukh_Dam_Development_or_Destruction_1
 A Petition to cancel the Tipaimukh Dam and  let barak river run free http://www.petitiononline.com/ACTIPdoa/petition.html

 TD in Munipur in driving a wedge?  http://www.downtoearth.org.in/cover.asp?foldername=20061015&filename=news&sec_id=9&sid=52

Govt urged to stop Tipaimukh  Dam, bdnews.com   http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=84838&cid=2

Global Voice online registered  a post on Tipaimukh Dam   http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/05/24/bangladesh-tipaimukh-dam-threatens-lives/

Global Voice added another post saying ‘No to Tipaimukh Dam’  http://globalvoicesonline.org/2009/05/27/bangladesh-india-no-to-tipaimukh-dam/

 An ordinary citizen


Tipai emits errie feelings -Daily Star

Sundarban is on rebirth January 19, 2008

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Sundarban is taking rebirth, writes the Environmental Scientist Dr. Reza Khan in Daily Prothom Alo.

Protecting Sundarbans December 14, 2007

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Sundarban bears the brunt of hurricane

Bangladesh is 140th position in the rank for most expected countries for living among 175 countries December 11, 2007

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 Link: most expected countries for living

Bali climate change conference and Bangladesh December 8, 2007

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, CLIMATE, Climate Change, ENVIRONMENT.
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UN climate Summit started at Bali with thousands of delegates from more than hundred countries attending the summit from 3rd December 2007and will continue upto 14th instant. The objective of the summit is to cut the carbon emission by the industrialized countries and to prevent the climate change which is already affecting the developing countries most and started to affect global environment.

The Kyoto protocol targeted the reduction of carbon emission below 5% of 1990 level which will end in 2012 but major countries like USA which are mostly responsible for the green house effect didn’t sign the protocol.

The policy that is declared by Bush this time also didn’t acclaimed by the scientists and environmentalist. Rather the stand taken by the China to reduce the carbon emission appreciated by them. Though there was demand for the compensation of the affected countries from the carbon emitting countries, the demand was not considered but some sort of development fund is being created by the developed countries to lessen the damage done to the affected countries by cyclone, water surge, deforestation and draught.

Though in many countries, the people are marching on the streets to raise the awareness about the climate change and to press the demand to reduce carbon emission, in Bangladesh, one of the most affected countries of the world, people are occupied by the devastation occurred by the Hurricane Sidr, the fiercest product of the Climate change so far.

Very recently a forum in Bangladesh estimated the damage done by the Hurricane Sidr to 300m US $ and demanded compensation from the developed countries proportionate to the their contribution to the climate change.

An ordinary citizen


Key climate summit opens at Bali

Global rallies focus on climate

Marchers highlight climate fears

Flood hits Bangladesh again September 15, 2007

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Flood hits Bangladesh again only after a gap of 3 to 4 weeks. One third of Bangladesh with 40 districts inundated by this time. All the major river rises above the danger level. Many new areas have gone under water along with some of the old areas. The misery of the people multiplied, new crops have been damaged, businesses stopped, new death occurs. Sirajgang district is again the most affected town.

The second flood occurs again due to excess of water coming from India through our rivers and contributed to some extent by the incessant rain in last week.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus in a key-note paper presented in the symposium on Changes in Climate held recently in Seoul said that Global warming has its adverse effect on Bangladesh. 40 % of Bangladesh is less than 1 meter higher than the sea level. Every year sea level is increasing 3 mm. 15 crore of people is already confined in a land of 1 lac 44 thousand sq miles. He commented that flood and Bangladesh become synonymous. To many of the world, change of climate may be a matter of anxiety but to the people of Bangladesh it is the question of survival.

Dr. Yunus also said that rich countries are polluting the environment and the poorer are bearing the burden. He suggested for changing the life style in such a way that it does not affect the environment.

We are worrying what is waiting for Bangladesh and how the people of Bangladesh will survive in future against all these odds!

An ordinary citizen



Respose to the raging flood (2): In support of flood victims August 8, 2007

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Chief Adviser Dr. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in a nationally broadcast televised address on 5th August 2007 has urged all irrespective of party and politics to come forward for relief and rehebilataion the flood hit victims. He stresses on the coordinated effort at district and upazilla level to make it most effective. He hoped that people will overcome this disaster by their resilence and strong confidence.

The flood hit areas have been distributed among the Advisers for better monitoring. So far, Mr. Moinul Hussain, Law Adviser, Mr. MA Matin, Communication Adviser, Mrs. Giti Ara Shafia Ch, Indusry Adviser, Mr. Ayub Quadri, Education Adviser went to their respective areas and personally supervise the donation activities.

Flood and Disaster Management Adviser Mr. Tapan Chy said that Govt sanctioned 11 crore from the Chief Adviser’s relief and welfare fund to the 15 worst affeted districts.

Various Government and private institutions, organisations and individuals have donated a total of arround 11 crore directly to the CA’s Relief and Welfare fund for the flood victims.

A Flood monitoring and Coordination Cell is also established at the CA’s office.

Though different political leadears including Chairperson of BNP Khaleda Zia and Acting President of AL urged party workers to participate in the relief work, thier presence is not marked yet.

On the other hand, different banks (Brac bank, Islami bank) finanacial institutions (FBCCI), organisations (ICDDRB), individuals (Mr, Jahid Hasan, TV Actor) and many others are directly participating in the relief work.

We are sure all these efforts from the public and private sector is not enough and timely, still the ordinary citizens laud the endevours of all who are supporting the flood hit victims to overcome the difficulties.

( an ordinary citizen)

Picture: from internet

Preparing for the flood July 30, 2007

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The flood situation of Bangladesh is worsening. Most affected are the northwestern districts. In the northeastern areas the water is also rising and the flush water is gradually inundating the areas centering Dhaka.

Thousands people of the affected areas are displaced; their houses, cattle, grains and other properties have been washed way; schools and offices, mosques and other holy structures have been collapsed, people are marooned in places or passing days in camps or makeshift shelters without adequate food and pure water.

The incessant rain over days and the onrush of water from India through the rivers are causing this havoc. which may increase with the days coming. People of Dhaka will be totally marooned by the next 48 hours.

What is our preparation for the flood? Government and non Government agencies are working to lessen the suffering of the people and to lessen the damage to the properties. The LGRD ministry is leading the effort to combat the crisis.

But the questions come up: are we prepared adequately to combat the flood before it actually hit us? Probably the answer will be no. We could not prepare enough embankments by the side our rivers. If at all these are not strong enough to withstand the force of flood water. Many flood projects are undone and many half done and many are ill done. We didn’t prepare or identify alternative shelter for the affected people. We only manage this on transient basis. Are we prepare to manage the other needs – the food, medicine etc of the affected people. In these respect also our past efforts were incomplete and ineffective. Always there was lack of cooperation among the different agencies both private and public. The owe of Dhaka is compounded by the problem of water logging already existing in the city due to inadequate drainage system and blockage of the old ones.

Are we prepared to combat the situation after the flood- the diarrhea and other disease, the long term shelters, the financial support for the rehabilitation for the people in the job or business and to rebuild their houses?

Flood is a common phenomenon in this country and these are sometimes very devastating affecting national economy and individual existence. Never heard of any composite evaluation, plan for immediate management and programs for after-effects.

The ordinary citizen is not informed of everything.

(an ordinary citizen)


Photo: courtesy: The Daily Star