Bangladesh has expressed its concern to India in a protest note at India's proposed US$100B project to link 30 major rivers and divert flow to water-deficient areas in the south-west.
India says the project is meant to reduce flooding, provide water supply and much needed power. Bangladesh, located on the delta of several large rivers draining into the Bay of Bengal, depends on the flow of 54 rivers that enter its territory from India, and fears that diversion of water from the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, which provide 85% of the country’s fresh water flow in the dry season, would cause an ecological disaster.
Reports say the Indian National Water Development Agency plans to construct hundreds of reservoirs and more than 600 canals to link 30 northeastern rivers with rivers draining into south-western India. It is anticipated that up to a third of the flow of the Brahmaputra and other rivers could be diverted to provide 173Bm3 of water a year.
In the meantime, China is also planning for a huge hydro power dam on the river Brahmaputra – one of the longest international rivers of the world serving China, India and Bangladesh.