DHAKA, Nov 26 (BSS) - Water Resources Minister Ramesh Chandra Sen today said the government will do everything possible to protect national interest regarding the cross-border Tipaimukh Dam issue and might go to international court if required.
"We will go to the international court, if necessary, to resolve the Tipaimukh Dam issue for our existence," he told a seminar on river and flood management organized by WDB Retired Engineers' Association at Engineers Institution (IEB) auditorium here.
As a friendly country, Bangladesh trusts India, the minister said. He, however, reiterated his belief that India would not proceed with the project without consultation with Bangladesh and prior to a joint survey in line with earlier consensus of the prime ministers of the two countries.
The minister also urged the opposition not to politicize the issue to "fish in troubled waters" as the "government is sincere enough to resolve the issue protecting national interest".
Chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha(RAJUK) Engr Md Nurul Huda, Director General of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) Engr Md Habubur Rahman, Executive Director of Institute of Water Modeling (IWM) Prof Dr M Monowar and President of WDB Retired Engineers' Association Engr Meshbah Uddin Ahmed, among others, addressed the seminar.
Executive Director of CEGIS Engr Giasuddin Ahmed Choudhury presented the keynote paper.
The geographic location of the country has made it vulnerable to the hydro-dynamics and morpho-dynamics of the river systems, Prof Monwar said, adding there are 57 trans- boundary rivers in the country of which 54 are shared with India and three are shared with Myanmar.
"Every year during the monsoon season, a significant part of the country is flooded which varies from 20 percent in normal flood to even 68 in extreme flooding cases. In the recent years, the frequency of severe flood has increased substantially, causing serious damages to crops and property," Prof Monwar added.
Formulating solution to flooding problems requires a comprehensive understanding of the geologic setting of the region and better knowledge of hydrodynamic, hydrologic and sediment transport process that are active in watersheds of the major river system, he added.
Referring to the morphological studies of the Ganges, the Jamuna and the Padma rivers conducted by CEGIS, Engr Giasuddin said the channelization of the Jamuna River will reduce the present average width of 12 km to 4 km and the Padma from 10 km to 5 km.
He suggested channelization of the rivers which will help reclaim land from the major rivers - the Jamuna, the Padma and the Ganges.