Dhaka opposes 2 hydropower projects in India

Bangladesh has opposed to the implementation of two hydro-based power projects along the border by north-eastern Indian state of Meghalaya until the two countries sign a water-sharing agreement.
Meghalaya is in the process of constructing dams on two rivers — the Mawphu dam across river Umiew and Myntdu dam across river Myntdu — in East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts.
Meghalaya Power Minister Clement Marak told the state legislature in its capital Shillong that a Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) member in his letter to the Union Ministry of Water Resources had said the two dams might cause adverse impacts in various sectors in Bangladesh due to change of water flow.
The Bangladeshi JRC member had requested not to proceed with the construction of the two dams until impact assessment on various sectors had been jointly conducted and water sharing agreements of the two common rivers had been signed by the two countries, the minister said.
Marak was replying to a call attention motion moved by opposition United Democratic Party leader Paul Lyngdoh.
While there was no further communication from the Indian Water Resources Ministry since January 7 with regards to offering a stake to Bangladesh in the two projects, Marak assured that there would be no diversion of river water as such.
He said state-owned Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Ltd, which was generating power from the Myntdu hydel power projects, had informed the Indian Ministry of Water Resources that the projects would not have any water impoundment.
“The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd has indicated the same in their pre-feasibility report of Mawphu hydel project. The project shall utilise, mostly, the available discharge in the river drawn through a 4.07 km-long tunnel to the power house generating 362.53 million units, meeting the same river downstream through a 45 meter-long channel,” he said.
Paul Lyngdoh said the opposition of Bangladesh in the power projects ran the risk of depriving power-starved Meghalaya of its potential in the hydro-power sector, besides losing a lot of time in resolving the issue.
He urged the state government to respond to the issue immediately so that Meghalaya could benefit from the two projects.