Dhaka: India on Wednesday said it is ready for "further consultations" with Bangladesh on the proposed cross-border hydroelectric power project in Manipur, amid renewed concerns over it in this country.

The Government of India is pleased to receive a delegation from Bangladesh to visit India in this regard," said an Indian "press note" forwarded to Bangladesh media by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.

The statement said Tipaimukh Project was under discussion bilaterally since 1972, with the objective of reducing flood damage in the Cachar and Sylhet areas of India and Bangladesh
respectively.

The Government of India welcomes the proposal of the Government of Bangladesh to hold further consultations on the issue of the Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project.

"The Government of India has always been proactive and responsive towards sharing of information with Bangladesh on the proposed project," it said.

The Indian response came days after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the parliament that proposals were made to India to carry out a joint study to asses Tipaimukh's viability and a
high-level delegation would be sent to New Delhi to discuss the issue.

Dhaka earlier this month demanded details of Indian steps on Tipaimukh "in full transparency" as New Delhi confirmed that it signed a 'Promoter's Agreement' to install a Joint Venture Company (JVC) for the project.

But the statement said India had facilitated the visit of a Bangladeshi Parliamentary delegation in July-August 2009 when New Delhi when India shared with Dhaka the "complete details and specifications of the Tipaimukh Project and its outcomes".

The statement said New Delhi at that time also shared with the Bangladesh side that the proposed project was aimed at controlling flood reducing river water flows during the flood season and increasing flows during the lean season through regulated discharge and generating power.

It said, New Delhi also clarified that the project contained no irrigation component diverting river while "it was also shared that Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment studies had been carried out and that the design of the project has adequate provision for safety for earthquakes (in zones of high seismic intensity Zone IV/V)".

"The Government of India has always reassured the Government of Bangladesh that India would not take steps on the Tipaimukh project that would adversely affect Bangladesh. India awaits the visit of a delegation from Bangladesh to India and has requested the Government of Bangladesh for further details in this regard," the statement said.

The statement came four days after Bangladesh's Water Resources Minister Ramesh Sen said, "national interest" might prompt Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government to seek
international courts intervention against proposed the cross-border project but Dhaka expected India not proceed with the project without consultation with its neighbour.

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) earlier said it received a letter from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in response to a mail sent by their leader ex-premier Khaleda Zia three days ago.

BNP on Tuesday said it was studying the Indian premier's letter and would convey its reaction to the media in next few days but Zia earlier demanded India immediately "discontinue the construction of Tipaimukh dam" and suggested a joint survey to be carried out on its impact.

The cross-border project to build a mega electricity dam dominated Bangladesh media and political arena as the experts fear to expose to environmental disasters.

Agencies