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Dhaka, December 20 2009: A three-day long march towards Tipaimukh Dam site in the Indian state of Manipur will begin on December 24 from the Bangladesh capital to protest the planned Indian project.

An Islamic political outfit Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) will organize the Long March in protest against the Indian move to construct the dam over the common river Barak.

The long march will start from the capital's Muktangon at 11am on Thursday amid an outcry from different quarters about possible adverse effects of the scheme on Bangladesh.

The long march will reach the destination cruising through the Narayanganj-Sherpur-Sylhet route.

The marchers will hold several wayside rallies in course of the long trek of the march.

They are supposed to reach Jakiganj sub-district headquarters in eastern Sylhet district and hold a rally on December 26 demanding cancellation of the dam project.

Ahead of the long march, IAB's student wing Islami Shasontantra Chhatra Andolan demonstrated and held a rally in Dhaka.

Speakers apprehended that 30 districts of the country will turn into a desert if India builds dam over the Barak River.

In the meantime, the government had sent a parliamentary delegation to India for the dam-site visit, and the team returned home with information briefed to them by Indian government leaders about the dam.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also said Bangladesh's experts would examine the data and then the government would take the next step.

Experts in Bangladesh fear, the Tipaimukh Dam would do huge damage to Bangladesh as the Farakka Barrage had done.

When completed in 1970 by India, the Farakka Barrage seemed a rather innocent venture by India at just 'saving the Calcutta Port from silting'.

The reality was felt by the Bangladeshis over the next few decades as the entire south-western region of Bangladesh was affected due to the dearth of water.

The country also faced long term losses in the agricultural, fisheries, forestry, industry, navigation and other sectors.

The barrage also caused some fatal damages over the years through floods, droughts, excessive salinity and depletion of groundwater.

The then-Bangladesh government tried to solve the impending problem through bilateral talks immediately following the formation of the Indo-Bangladesh joint river commission (JRC) in 1972 .

Courtesy: e-pao.net

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