The High Court yesterday ordered the government to explain why it should not be directed not to set up the proposed Matarbari coal-based thermal power plant at Maheshkhali in Cox's Bazar.
In a rule, the court asked the government to come up with an explanation within two weeks.
The power secretary, director general of the Department of Environment, chairman of the Power Development Board and managing director of the Matarbari power project have been made respondents to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by one Altaf Hossain from Maheshkhali, challenging the legality of setting up the power plant.
Altaf filed the petition as a public interest litigation in October last year, stating that the proposed 1,200MW power plant would have harmful effect on the natural resources, biodiversity, wetlands and the livelihood of people in its surrounding areas.
The constitution and the environment laws do not allow inflicting damage on the environment and the livelihood of people, he mentioned.