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Acting Ameer expresses concern over the Indian initiative for launching ‘River Interlinking Project’; urges government to play strict role to secure due share of water
Thursday, 23 July 2015
Acting Ameer of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, Maqbul Ahmed has issued the following statement on 23rd July, 2015 expressing deep concern of the Indian government’s initiative to launch the controversial ‘River Interlinking Project’. The news of such an initiative had been published in the mass media on last 13th July quoting the reference of the Indian Minister for Irrigation.

Mr. Maqbul Ahmed stated that, “India is our largest neighboring country. Some 54 common rivers are running between the territory of India and Bangladesh and going through Bangladesh, these rivers finally meet the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh is not getting its due share of water, as India is often establishing dams and embankments over these rivers violating the international norms and regulations. Though, initially they are planning to launch river linking project with three common rivers but ultimately they will implement in the project as a whole. The experts apprehend that the project will alter the natural flow of rivers, cause water-logging, hamper transportation of silt, affect fisheries, submerge forests and reduce water flow in trans-boundary Rivers in downstream Bangladesh. So a broad range of discussion is a must prior to execute any such project but the Indian authority is ignoring such discussion process. Earlier, Indian government had launched the Farakka dam on test and their test has not been ended even in last 40 years. Resultantly, almost 60 million people of the South-western region Bangladesh are suffering immensely. In the previous tenure, Awami League had signed the Ganga water treaty but Bangladesh is not getting water as per the accord as there was no guarantee clause in that deal. The mighty river Padma has turned into a desert now and on the contrary, Bangladesh is suffering from flood in every rainy season as the Indian authority opens the gate of Farakka dam in those days.
Indian government is repeatedly asserting not to make any dam or embankment that may cause trouble to Bangladesh. The people of Bangladesh are also inclined to keep trust on them but regrettably they are becoming frustrated in every occasion. The crisis with Farakka dam has not been ended. India did not sign the Teesta river treaty yet. If India construct Tipaimukh dam, it would disastrously affect 40 million people of the South-Eastern region of Bangladesh. And finally, if the river interlining project comes into effect, it would turn the entire Bangladesh into a sandy desert. Though it is a top priority fact to ensure the interest of 160 million people, but unfortunately, the present government is completely reluctant to address this issue. The countrymen do not understand that what bar the present government to play the bold role to secure its own just and due share of water.
If the government seeks any assistance from Jamaat-e-Islami to solve the common river water sharing crisis with India, the party is happily ready to cooperate. We are calling the government to press their Indian counterpart to hold a meeting of the joint river commission immediately. The discussion may hold at expert level along with the government official level. We hope and believe that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would keep his promises that he had made during his last visit in Bangladesh. We further believe that his government would not take any initiative which may cause crisis for Bangladesh. We expect that the 160 million people of Bangladesh would play significant and pivotal role to secure their just share of water irrespective of their political ideology and beliefs.”