The Surma hosts the Tipaimukh Dam Parliament!

By Jalal Moin *

Sylhet: 23 April :2009 : Probably the Surma could guess the pulse already. For centuries it fed millions of its basin inhabitants, it helped establish human civilization around it, still a group of people who had even never been to it for once, had been planning to throttle the life of the river itself. The methodology is age-old, dam it, squeeze it and get electricity out of it at any cost. And the 'cost' is truly catastrophic. So the Surma agreed to host the unique form of the parliament on its bank.

The Surma originates from the Barak in the vicinity of Maosongsang area in the Manipur Hills in India. The Barak traverses about 277 km in Manipur, Mizoram sand Assam states of India and then it enters the political boundary of Bangladesh getting itself bifurcated into the Surma and Kushiara only to meet again in the downstream being renamed as the Meghna.

The Barak-Surma-Kushiara-Meghna river system stretches about 946 km, of which remainder 669 km is in Bangladesh portion. That is, about 1/3^rd is in India and 2/3^rd is in Bangladesh. India decides the fate of the whole Barak-Surma-Kushiara-Meghna river system without asking a single person of Bangladesh and any meaningful and effective opinion searching in the Barak banks in India.

India finalized the final design for the construction of a mega dam styled as Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric project obstructing the flow of the Barak in Manipur of India. The Indian authorities will soon be whistling 'GO' for the construction of the 500 feet high and 1500 feet long dam with hard rock.

It's a no. 10 danger signal for the riverine civilization of the Barak-Meghna basin. It's a death warrant. The ecology, biodiversity, livelihood, agriculture, economy, culture of the whole basin will sure to be in perils. In the afternoon of 22 April, 2009, Wednesday, the Surma flowing beside the city of the legendary Sylhet promptly hosted a people's parliament in its Chadnighat overlooking the historic Kin Bridge.

The stairs of the ghat soon turned into the seats of the parliament. Five boats floating on the Surma got united to provide necessary seats of the Hon'ble Speaker and his associates. Three volunteers kept the backdrop banner of the parliament hanging behind the Speaker's rostrum.

The parliament members sitting upon the ghat stairs unanimously elected Engineer Muhammad Hilaluddin, Chief Director of Angikar Bangladesh as to be the Speaker of this symbolic parliament. Dr. Nazia Chowdhury, Associate Professor of Shahjalal University, submitted the 11 point bill in the parliament.

The bill explained the causes and probable effects of the Tipaimukh dam being built just 100km from the Amalshid border of Sylhet district. The bill explained the behavior of the dam during heavy downpour in the monsoon when the floodgates of the dam would have to be opened compulsively inundating a wide area of the low lying areas in the greater Sylhet and adjacent districts.

During the construction period, sand from the hard rock will choke the flow of the Barak, Surma and Kushiara at the least affecting the flow of Meghna. Besides these the mega dam is the source of mega danger in many ways, the bill narrated. The site of the dam being in the earthquake prone area, in case of dam breaking in the higher altitude, the tsunami like mega-catastrophe might create deluge in the low lying areas of India and Bangladesh leaving a trail of unthinkable destruction in the basin.

The bill mentioned the alarming possibilities of water logging in the Haor areas covering the 1/6^th area of Bangladesh thus affecting the one crop agriculture in the crop-treasure area. The bill stressed for creating regional and global bond of the water rights activists in favor of nature-friendly development, against assaults on nature.

The bill urged the authorities of the SAARC countries, PR China and Burma (Myanmar) to search for amicable avenues to resolve the issues for ensuring safe and drinking water for all in the region. The bill especially called for desisting from any interventions in the Brahmaputra by PR China and India.

Recently the Secretary for External Affairs of India came to Bangladesh and proposed for a onsite visit of the Bangladesh delegation to the Tipaimukh Dam with an ulterior motive to hoodwink the public opinion . The bill referred to the 'innocent looking cunning proposal' of the Indian Secretary and cautioned the Bangladesh authorities not be lured or trapped by this 'gesture'.

Instead the authorities in Bangladesh, the bill advised, must prepare a ' National Position Paper' with the participation of the academics, activists, experts and the members of the civil society.

Eminent parliamentarians from the session including Advocate Kishore Kar from Bar, Advocate Rajuddin, Faruk Mahmud Chowdhury from the Business Chamber, Abdul Karim Kim from SIPA, Ayesha Chowdhury from BELA and Advocate Anwar Hossain Sumon participated in the discussion on the bill. Prominent singers Jamal Hassan Banno and Malati Paul enthralled hundreds of citizens lending their voices on the songs about the Surma.

The Speaker sought the opinion of the parliament on the bill which enthusiastically and unanimously endorsed the bill.

The holding of this kind of parliament in exceptional form created special impact among the citizens and the print media , both at national and local level, the electronic media, both at international and national level, made wide coverage.

The Surma Riverbank Parliament on the Tipaimukh Dam issue decided to go for a National Tipaimukh Dam Conference in Dhaka within May,2009.

Earlier on 21 April,2009, braving inclement weather,hundreds of activists demonstrated in Sunamganj beside the Surma and Beanibazar beside the Kushiara protesting the construction of the monstrous Tipaimukh Dam.

These 3 events have been dedicated to this year's International Day of Action for Rivers and Earth Day as well.

* This is a special report Jalal Moin and sent from Angikar Bangladesh Foundation - hifangbd(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was sent courtesy of Ramananda Wangkheirakpam (CCDD) - wramd(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was webcasted on April 29th, 2008.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • 28th Imphal Book Fair #1 : Gallery
  • Winter Relief Program @Patsoi: Gallery
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #7
  • 2019: Ministry of Development (DoNER)
  • Consultative meeting on Meetei ST demand
  • Beauty benefits of meditation
  • Environment conservation & mankind..
  • Of our Responsibility and our Rights
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingkham Kabui Khul: Gallery
  • Condolence on demise of Mahima Khan
  • Coping with anxiety before laboratory test
  • The lonely Moon :: Poem
  • Natl Conference on chemicals sciences
  • Constitutional protections to specific groups #1
  • KASHISH, Indian LGBTQ short films
  • Drugs & manufacturing: Who are the kingpins?
  • Indigenous People must defend environment
  • Cultural @ Shirui Lily Fest #4 : Gallery
  • Children Adventure Sports Camp #1 : Gallery
  • Day 3 : Sangai Fest #3 : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Khangminashi VI, talk series : Food research
  • Can people of NE blame Centre alone for CAA
  • The City of Darkness :: Poem
  • Time for Nagas to build the future: Rio
  • Checking the statements of UG outfits
  • Restoring to the status of People's CM
  • Ibudhou Thangjing, Moirang :: 360 ø View
  • Phamsak collaboration in indigenous ambience
  • Why this relaxation of 12 yrs unless..
  • Being a chow-momo Indian; the fun side!
  • Monika Ingudam - Amb for India Volunteers
  • Petition to CM to dispose contract teachers
  • Call to curb favouritism and nepotism
  • For a better world - to our world leaders
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Ramji Kabui Khul : Gallery
  • Charoibi, Atom Naha : eMing
  • Niti Aayog must stop plan to privatise health
  • For the future :: Poem
  • Career in Fashion Communication
  • Jobs at LMP Technology, Canchipur
  • Too many festivals in a year observation
  • What ails Chief Minister gi Haksel gi Tengbang
  • Thong Nambonbi broke apart: Gallery
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #6
  • Fit India Khelo India
  • The Car Washed Shampoo :: Poem
  • Economic development : Special focus on hills
  • Climate change : Biggest challenge in 2020s
  • MAYA trainer at MAAC Imphal center
  • How about the Salt Lake Manipur Bhavan?
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #1: Gallery
  • Youth and Nation
  • Lyrics of Departing Year :: Poem
  • Forgotten elixir for youths of Manipur
  • Banknotes for sale
  • ADBU - 'Engaged University of the Year'
  • Traffic chaos - a serious problem
  • 'Nongju Ahing' :: eRang Classic Photos
  • Day 1 : Sangai Fest #5 : Gallery
  • City lights :: Poem
  • How China impacts security dynamics in NE
  • Rhythms & Aromas of NE at Ukhrul
  • Lipstick mistakes to avoid
  • Giving a fresh push to the Lim debate?
  • Thong Nambonbi is a part of our history
  • Shumang Leela Ningtham Kumhei: Gallery
  • Death Anniv- Maharaj Gambhir Singh : Gallery
  • Go develop the Hills : A live case study
  • A canal to augment Imphal City, a must !
  • The present health of Loktak Lake
  • Meiraba- 3rd in Badminton World Federation
  • After effects of CAA in North East
  • Film Policy - awaiting action
  • Arambai Langba @Kangjeibung : Gallery
  • JNIMS - Untold story #2
  • CAA is a threat to indigenous communities
  • Ukhrul auditions for Rhythms & Aromas of NE
  • A Wintry Number :: Poem
  • Career in fashion industry
  • Suspension Order issued by NPF to Kenye
  • Web Developer / Trainee at Lamjing IT
  • Cabinet approves NE Gas Pipeline Grid
  • Claiming hands in attack at JNU
  • The changing concept of patriotism
  • IM on integration, Pan Naga Hoho & others
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai :: e-Pao Flash Presentation
  • Gaan-Ngai :: Read all about it
  • Asylum for select migrants.. madness ?
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #5
  • Irom Roshan to exhibit humanoid robot IVALA
  • NPF Statement on CAA 2019
  • Time to focus on examinations
  • The taste of Indian democracy
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3: Gallery
  • Press Club Foundation Day: Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Post-mortem of New Year Celebration
  • Shillong audition for Rhythm & Aromas of NE
  • Army Arrived at Lunch
  • Cocktail of CAB, CAA, NRC & NPR
  • A treatise on mind #3
  • Menamparampil for Journalism Award
  • Govt committed to protect indigenous people
  • Cabinet increase pension for retired journalist
  • Hiyangthau :: Funga Wari
  • Official Release of AMAND Calendar 2020
  • Happening and good cheer as career
  • Voices of the Stars :: Poem
  • Yaikhomba: Selected National Bravery Award
  • War against the English language
  • BJP : In Delhi & Manipur: Twain does not meet
  • Licypriya- Top 100 Child Prodigy: Gallery
  • A Critique of the Manipur ILP Guidelines
  • Licypriya- 100 Child Prodigies : Report
  • Critique of ILP Guidelines (Meiteilon)
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Architectural Designer at R-Square
  • AutoCad Drafsman at R-Square
  • Crops production & Award for Manipur !
  • New Year picnic @Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Kairembikhok Women opted carpentry
  • RIST Talk -42 @MU : Mimicking nature
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Project Engineer at R-Square
  • Site Manager at R-Square
  • Research Officer at Amethyst
  • Jobs @ Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Assam looking at bygone years
  • Krishi Karman Award for Manipur !
  • Khusbu Sorokhaibam : Glass Painting
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #4
  • CC Meet 2019 : Fixture (Semis & Final)
  • JNIMS - Untold story #1
  • About Failed 'Real Madrid' & Climate Change!
  • Manipur : Krishi Karman Award for foodgrain
  • Year end review: Department of Atomic Energy
  • Disturbed area status & improved law & order
  • The choice is yours Mr. Chief Minister
  • Dec 30 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Marriage rituals of Tais #2
  • Recovering compensation from CAA agitators
  • In The Name of Democracy
  • A treatise on mind #2
  • Nightingales in Winter :: Poem
  • Social Service at Ibudhou Thangjing campus
  • Manipur start issue of ILP permits
  • 386 arrested in 282 drug related cases : 2019
  • NIA files chargesheet in AR ambush case
  • 'Marketing' on New Year 2020 eve: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #6: Gallery
  • Meetei Today launches new website
  • Manipur : As I grew up in #3
  • Bye - Bye 2019 :: Poem
  • Stands in solidarity with the Workers
  • Peace or Pandora's Box in 2020 ?
  • X-Mas @Ukhrul, @Kpi #2 : Gallery
  • January Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Normal age forgetfulness vs Dementia
  • Who was afraid of NK Sanajaoba ?
  • Bidding farewell with a new hope
  • Hogenakkal - India's Niagara
  • Degrading environment vs activities
  • State of economy in the dark times
  • Landscape of Purul, Senapati #1 : Gallery
  • Understanding the lives of Trans community
  • New species: Trichodesma Kumareum
  • The Spear is born for the Zulu
  • Water Pollution: Causes & Effects
  • Year End Review 2019, Dept of Youth Affairs
  • Bridging disconnect & delving deeper
  • X-Mas @Ukhrul, @Kpi #1 : Gallery
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #3
  • Demand to repeal AFSPA 1958
  • Scholarship test- Civil Service Aspirant
  • Auditions : Rhythms & Aromas of NE
  • Reality of the dark times ?
  • Day 3 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Marriage rituals of Tais #1
  • Arrogance of Centre prove costly for NE
  • U-19 Girls : Jeet Kune Do Champion
  • A treatise on mind #1
  • Heart Camp at Utlou Mayai Leikai
  • Construction activity over agricultural land
  • State of our state
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #2: Gallery
  • Destination NE @ Vanarasi #5: Gallery
  • Manipur : As I grew up in #2
  • From Anti-CAB shut down to pro-CAA rally
  • Ministers & matrimonial alliances
  • Hidden Depths :: Poem
  • Ready to bid adieu to 2019
  • Songs of the dark times
  • Mister Manipur 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • Day 1 : Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • NE: Improving journo-murder index
  • Tinkle Twinkles My Way
  • Emergence of vector borne - scrub typhus
  • Heart Camp at Haoreibi Leikai, Lilong
  • Aayush Sharma Begins Filming Kwatha
  • India needs national refugee policy: Pradyot
  • Piulong Valley, Tamenglong #1: Gallery
  • Christmas greetings
  • On the other side :: Poem
  • Chadong & its Church : Gallery
  • Diamond Jubilee @ Namdunglong: Gallery
  • Aerial- Imp to Tamenglong: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Tombi State Polo Tournament : Gallery
  • Nupi Lan Ningsing Lamjel #2: Gallery
  • Tales of Meitei Proverbs : Book Review
  • Miss Kut at Imphal #6: Gallery
  • Nupi Lan Day (State): Gallery
  • Brahmacharimayum Mahendra : Silpbhusan
  • Leirum- used in Luhongba : Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View