Remove Farakka, Stop Tipaimukh for congenial relation as Bangladesh calls!
Filed Under: Politics, World | Posted: 04/05/2011 at 1:02PM
Comments | Region: Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s great river Padma and her tributaries are all dried up now in April! One can walk trhough the once mighty great river under the famous Hardinge Bridge at Ishwardi! What a cruel fate!
Ganges is one of the best acclaimed rivers which gave bearing to a cardinal of human civilizations.
The Gangotri Glacier, a all-inclusive amplitude of ice bristles afar by fifteen, at the foothills of the Himalayas (14000 ft) in arctic Uttar Pradesh is the antecedent of Bhagirathi, which joins with Alaknanda (origins nearby), to anatomy Ganga at the craggy, canyon-carved boondocks of Devprayag.
Water from the Ganga has the recursive acreage that any baptize alloyed with alike the atomic abundance of Ganga baptize becomes Ganga water, and inherits its healing and added angelic properties. Also, admitting its abounding impurities, Ganga baptize does not rot or fetor if stored for several days.
The Glacier, an all-inclusive amplitude of ice bristles afar by fifteen, at the foothills of the Himalayas (14000 ft) in Northern Uttaranchal is the antecedent of Bhagirathi, which joins with Alaknanda to anatomy Ganga at the broken canyon-carved boondocks of Devprayag. Interestingly, the sources of Indus and the Brahmaputra are additionally geographically adequately close; the above goes through Himachal Pradesh and admirers out through Punjab and Sindh (Pakistan) into the Arabian Sea. The closing courses for best of its amazing breadth beneath assorted names through Tibet/China, never far from the Nepal or Indian borders, and afresh takes a aciculate about-face abreast the northeastern tip of India, gathers drive through Assam afore abutting the above beck of the Ganga abreast Dacca in Bangladesh to become the boss Padma, river of joy and affliction for abundant of Bangladesh.
From Devprayag to the Bay of Bengal and the all-inclusive Sundarbans Delta, the Ganga flows some 1,550 miles, casual and giving activity to some of the best crawling cities of India, including Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Patna, and Kolkatta. Dacca, the basic of Bangladesh is on a accessory of the Brahmaputra, aloof afore it joins the Ganga to anatomy Padma. A ample cardinal of tributaries accompany and breeze from the Ganges to cesspool the Northern allotment of India and Bangladesh.
The basin of the Ganga, or rather, that of the Hooghly and the Padma, is a all-inclusive ragged swamp backwoods (42,000 sq km) alleged the Sundarbans, home of the Royal Bengal Tiger. The silt-carrying amnion of the Ganga stains the Bay of Bengal a muddier hue for added than 500-km into the ocean.
At a time, this alluvium gave acceleration to the basin of Bengal, accepted as the abundant best acreage in the world.
So, artlessly Bengalis were abased on Ganges for their aerial acquiescent autumn and anytime greenish lives and natures.
However, aberration of Ganges baptize at upstream from its capital flow, unilaterally by India back 1975, already abundant and august river Padma became hundred afar of albino ditches afterwards water, about accessory rivers became broiled and accomplished arid accumulation action in Bengal delta. In th lower beck forth the sea, the salinity added to added than 3000 folds as sea baptize is activity the gaps in some extents causing astringent adverse furnishings on flora and fauna of the delta, abnormally those of the Sundarban. And these causes are absolute always as a bang of animosity amid two actual abutting and affable neighbors and the befalling of analysis have been activated by the anti-Indian agitator groups in Bangladesh.
Ever back India’s accepted election, catastrophe in the beating of the far right, all-embracing and bounded absorption has been focused on the country’s relations with Pakistan and the affairs of their improvement. Unnoticed, meanwhile, is the advancing accident threatened by India’s proposed hydroelectric dam to its relations with Bangladesh, which an beforehand acclamation had promised to boost.
In the Bangladesh accepted acclamation of December 2008, the Awami League (AL) of Prime Abbot Sheikh Hasina Wajed won a battery achievement admitting attempts to pin the pro-India tag on her by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of above Prime Abbot Begum Khaleda Zia and her fundamentalist accessory Jamaat-e-Islami. India seemed to accept abolished from the Bangladeshi political agitation for some time, with the angle for war abomination trials aggressive alone to put Pakistan in the berth again.
India, however, abstracts in aspersing slogans at accessible rallies and artery demonstrations staged over the accomplished weeks. These are protests adjoin the proposed dam, which assume as adverse to both the abridgement and ambiance of Bangladesh. The activity is additionally resented as a affectation of big-brotherly antipathy by India for the sensibilities of its eastern neighbor.
The BNP, with the abutment of about all non-AL parties, has threatened to move the United Nations over the Tipaimukh project. The dam is actuality congenital beyond the Barak river on the bound of India’s northeastern States of Manipur and Mizoram, aloof 100 kilometers abroad from Bangladesh. The Barak becomes Meghna in Bangladesh, which the dam will abate to the cachet of a lower riparian state.
Originally advised alone to accommodate floods in the lower Barak Valley, the revised activity aims to accommodated the ability needs of India’s alienated northeast with an installed breeding accommodation of 1,500 megawatts. The dam is accepted to deluge assuredly an breadth of 275.50 aboveboard kilometers.
The protests can bang a accepted ambit because the acerbity acquired in Bangladesh by an beforehand Indian river activity has yet to be erased. Fresh in the abate neighbor’s anamnesis is the actual abhorrent acquaintance of the Farakka project.
The Farakka Barrage, completed in 1975 over the Ganga (a above river arrangement aggregate by the two countries), led to a angry altercation that connected for years. Congenital with the declared aim of breach the Ganga into the Hooghly River of India’s Accompaniment of West Bengal during the dry division (January to June) in adjustment to even out silt, the dam came to be against for abstinent baptize to Bangladesh.
Unbiased accounts accept abundantly corroborated the complaint. According to one finding, the baptize aberration acquired this acutely poor country anniversary accident of over $4 billion. According to another, in some afflicted areas of Bangladesh, villagers had to "dig wells as abysmal as 200 anxiety to access bubbler water."
In a contempt commodity blue-blooded "From Farakka to Tipaimukh – the Dams that Kill," Bangladeshi animal rights activist Habib Siddiqui, no acquaintance of the BNP, recalled the history of the Farakka Battery that should ample no Indian hearts with pride.
Siddiqui addendum that Farakka was the foremost accountable on the calendar of the Indo-Bangladesh Collective Rivers Commission (JRC) from the bearing of Bangladesh to aboriginal 1975, back the collective anatomy discussed it 90 times. In April 1975, Dhaka agreed to a 41-day balloon operation of the battery on the action that Bangladesh was assured of a baptize accumulation of 40,000 cusecs during the dry season. What followed, in his own words, was this: "Unfortunately, anon afterwards (Father of Bangladesh) Sheikh Mujib’s (Mujibur Rahman’s) assassination in August 15, 1975, demography advantage of the political change in Bangladesh, India abandoned the agreement, by cheating and breach the abounding accommodation of 40,000 cusecs unilaterally."
The affair went to the UN Accepted Assembly. On November 5, 1977, an acceding was signed, adequate 34,500 cusecs for Bangladesh. The five-year accord asleep in 1982 and, afterwards abounding beneath extensions, accomplished in 1989.
Siddiqui credibility out: "The JRC statistics shows actual acutely that Bangladesh did not get her due allotment during all those years (1977-91). There was no advance of the bearings during the aboriginal Khaleda Zia Administration (1991-96) with boilerplate baptizes allotment arrangement to 10,000 to 12,000 cusecs …"
Then, Hasina replaced Khaleda as the adopted prime minister. She visited India and active a accord with her afresh analogue Deve Gowda in December 1996. "The accord addressed the affection of the conflict: baptize allocation (35,000 cusecs) during the bristles months of the dry division (January-May). During the blow of the year, there is adequate baptize that India can accomplish the Farakka aberration afterwards creating problems for Bangladesh."
According to Siddqui, however, India did not accumulate "her ancillary of the bargain." He cites JRC abstracts afresh in abutment of his statement.
This record, as Siddiqui added than suggests, raises conspicuously adequate misgivings about the Tipaimukh project, for which the foundation bean was laid in December 2006..
As for the ecology ambit to the debate, several experts accede that the Farakka Battery aloft salinity levels, attenuated fisheries and airish a blackmail to baptize affection and accessible bloom in Bangladesh. According to some, the lower levels of clay damp forth with added salinity additionally led to desertification. A abstraction of 1997 estimated that it would booty 50 to 60 years to adjustment the ecology accident with all-encompassing all-embracing assistance.
India’s West Bengal has not been absolved the damage, say some experts. The South Asian Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), in its address of November 1999 to the Apple Commission on Dams, is quoted as saying: "(The Farakka project) has resulted in massive confusion in Malda on its upstream and Murshidabad on its after in West Bengal. Huge sedimentation, accretion flood acuteness and accretion addiction of coffer abortion are some of its impacts. Erosion has swept abroad ample areas of these two districts causing all-embracing citizenry displacement …"
The Tipaimuk activity threatens agnate after-effects as well, say environmentalists. Objections to the activity on this account accept already been accurate in Manipur.
New Delhi’s acknowledgment to the protests has been to abjure any arena for the grave apprehensions accurate about the project. The Hasina government, for its part, has promised the action that an all-party appointment will be beatific to the armpit for an on-the-spot abstraction of the project.
Siddiqui, however, speaks for abounding Bangladeshis. Including supporters of the Hasina regime, back he wonders: "Given India’s continued history of aspersing her agreements on Farakka with Bangladesh, can she be trusted for befitting any fresh promise? Are the UN and/or the ICJ (International Court of Justice) alone options Bangladesh has to redress her grievances?"
It charge be hoped that the advantage of mutual discussions is adopted and that these are agitated to a cessation adequate to accepted Bangladeshis. India’s far appropriate and Bangladesh’s fundamentalists are cat-and-mouse in the wings to booty advantage of an abortion of such initiatives to break the problem.