The National Committee for Protection of Oil-Gas and Mineral Resource, Electricity Sector and Ports yesterday blamed government's dependence on expensive rental plants for repeated power price hikes.
The ill-conceived policies have opened ways for profiteering rental companies though an overhaul of the state-run plants would have been much cost-effective, said the committee.
Addressing a rally in front of the capital's Jatiya Press club, the committee leaders criticised the Awami League-led government for hiking power tariff five times by 43.75 percent since 2009. The sixth round of price increase is in the offing.
“The plans to hike the power tariff will not solve any of the crises facing the nation's power sector but putting additional burden on the public who are already struggling with ever increasing prices of essentials,” said Prof Anu Muhammad, member secretary of the committee.
He also urged the government to rethink its power generation policies “that have been proved to be unsustainable”.
The committee convener, Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, said the proposed Rampal power plant close to the Sundarbans would destroy the world's largest mangrove forest.
“The Sundarbans have protected people from natural disasters for centuries. Now, we have to protect the Sundarbans from aggression,” he said.
Shahidullah asserted that in the name of solving the energy crisis, the government had taken “such a destructive path” to serve the interests of a vested quarter at home and abroad.
On April 20 last year, Bangladesh and India inked a deal to construct a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant in Bagerhat's Rampal, only 14km from the Sundarbans.
Leaders of different leftist parties including Ruhin Hossain, Subhrangshu Chakrabarti, Zonayed Saki, and Shahidul Islam attended the rally.