The proposed coal-fired power plant adjacent to the Sundarbans will not do any harm to the world’s largest mangrove forest, claimed Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin yesterday.
“Fears about damage to the Sundarbans are unfounded,” he said at a press briefing on World Environment Day at the Secretariat yesterday.
The minister said they visited the forest last month, and did not see anything indicating that the Sundarbans was being endangered.
“We don’t think Rampal will pose any threat to the sundarbans,” the minister said.
Ministry Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury said the increased number of tigers and trees prove that the coal-fired plant will not harm the mangrove forest.
“We didn’t give clearance to any new or red category companies,” he said.
The ministry has prepared a strategic assessment project and submitted it to the planning ministry. The work will begin shortly after their approval, he added.
Rampal is a proposed 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power plant -- a joint venture between India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh Power Development Board. The project area is situated 14 kilometres north of the Sundarbans.
Unesco and activists have been opposing the project, fearing that it will cause significant damage to the forest.