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[Source: The Sangai Express]

Imphal, July 13 2009: For the proposed visit of a Parliamentary team of Bangladesh to Tipaimukh dam site, the State Government has received a formal intimation through the External Affairs Ministry.

On the other hand, Power Ministry has handed over the mega project to NHPC because of NEEPCO's tardy pace of execution which was earlier selected as the implementing agency.

The Govt of Bangladesh sent a written intimation to the Government of Manipur through External Affairs Ministry on July 10 about the proposed visit of a Parliamentary team to Tipaimukh Dam site, located at the border of Manipur and Mizoram, informed an official source.

The State Government has also been asked if there is a helipad, security cover and fooding and lodging facilities in case the Bangladeshi Parliamentary team comprising of 15 MPs are granted permission to visit Tipaimukh dam site.

A few days back, a massive protest demonstration was staged before the Indian High Commission office at Dhaka against the Tipaimukh project.

There is widespread apprehension among the people of Bangladesh that Tipaimukh Project would cause extensive damage to its riverine ecology besides reducing its share of water from Barak river which falls into Surma river of the country.

However, no definite date has been fixed by the Ministry of External Affairs about the proposed Parliamentary team's visit.

The State Govt, in its response to the External Affairs Ministry, has conveyed that there is no proper helipad at present.

Moreover, there is heavy rainfall in the area.

The State Government also mentioned about the necessity of Home Ministry's clearance for entry of the foreign delegates to the State.

Although the Union Forest and Environment Ministry has given environmental clearance for the mega project, similar clearance is being awaited from the Government of Mizoram.

On the other hand, asserting that North East Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) was dragging its feet in implementing the project, the Power Ministry has retrieved the project from NEEPCO and handed it over to National Hydro Electric Power Corporation.

The mega project of 1500 MW installed capacity is a joint venture.

NHPC is investing 69 percent of the estimated cost and Sutlej company 26 percent while the State Government is contributing 5 percent.

The State Government has been assured 12 percent of the power produced from the project free of cost.

Some drilling machines used in executing the project were once vandalised by HPC (D) cadres earlier.

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