The neighbouring country's fears in this regard are unfounded, state Power Minister Clement Marak said on Wednesday. He was responding to a calling attention motion that was moved by Paul Lyngdoh of the United Democratic Party (UDP).
The UDP leader pointed out that considering the objections raised by Bangladesh to the two hydel projects, the Centre could well order Meghalaya to stop construction work of the dams. Lyngdoh said that in such a scenario the state would not be able to exploit its hydro-power potential to the full.
Since Meghalaya is facing a power crisis, he stressed that the state government should immediately take steps to resolve the dispute with Bangladesh.
Intervening in the discussion, the power minister said that the Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Ltd has already apprised the Union Ministry of Water Resources that water of the Myntdu river will not be impounded for the Myntdu hydel power project.
Marak also cited the pre-feasibility report submitted by the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd. It had stated that the Mawphu hydel project will not impound water of the Umiew river, he noted.
"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," Marak informed the Meghalaya Assemby.
A member of the Bangladesh Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) had written to the Water Resources ministry that construction of the dams might divert the flow of water in the two rivers, Marak said.
According to the JRC, Bangladeshi farmers would find it difficult to irrigate their fields if adequate water does not reach the country. The member suggested that the ministry could direct Meghalaya not to build the dams until Bangladesh and India jointly assess the impact of the two projects on both countries and sign agreements to share the water of Umiew and Myntdu rivers.
OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)