Kaptai Dam in Bangladesh: Proposed Extension Plan & Issues of Non-Compliance

Saturday, May 1, 2004

The dam at Kaptaimukh, known as Kaptai Dam on the River Karnafuli in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) is the only hydro-electric power project in Bangladesh. This earth filled dam, constructed without consultation with the local indigenous communities, displaced more than 100, 000 people. Very few of them ever received compensation. Many of them had to migrate to neighboring India where they have been living a miserable life. The project has become a symbol of the Bangali community’s unjust and racist policy towards indigenous communities of the country. A proposed plan to install two new generators has raised new fear. This paper by Zakir Kibria, Executive Director, BanglaPraxis, briefly discusses the history of human and environmental disaster caused by the dam. It also raises issues of no-compliance with strategic priorities of the World Commission on Dams.

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