Oppose India's river-linking project: Bangladesh opposition

Dhaka: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) late Wednesday expressed concerns over India's fresh move to implement the controversial river linking project and urged the government to take strong action against it.

Some Indian newspapers, quoting Indian Water Resources Minister Sanwar Lal Jat, reported on July 13 that India is going to start the river linking project by setting up dams in trans-boundary rivers, Xinhua news agency reported. "Though, it is a personal issue of India, Bangladesh's rivers will be affected by the project," said BNP spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon.

The BNP's foreign affairs secretary said if not stopped, the river-linking project will diminish the water flow of some rivers in Bangladesh. The Indian water resources minister said his ministry would soon take up the planning of a very important link, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, in consultation with the governments of Assam, West Bengal and Bihar.

"This link project will not only provide large irrigation and water supply benefits to Assam, West Bengal and Bihar, but will also make available large quantum of water for transfer subsequently to southern states," Jat said in an official statement.

The governments in West Bengal, Assam and Bihar will soon be approached for their consent, Jat added. BNP spokesman Ripon said it is the duty of the Bangladesh government to ensure sufficient water in its rivers and the government should put pressure upon India for the water.

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