'No', reiterate greens
Reiterating their demand, green activists yesterday called upon the government to stop the construction of coal-based Rampal power plant, which is being built in the ecologically critical area (ECA) of the Sundarbans.
They also demanded that another 320 government and non-government projects be stopped in the ECA to protect the world's largest mangrove forest, said a press release.
The demands were made at a press conference organised by the National Committee to Protect Sundarbans, a platform of green activists, at Dhaka Reporters' Unity in the capital.
Speaking at the conference, Sultana Kamal, convener of the committee, said, “Our national asset the Sundarbans is now under the biggest threat of destruction.” Along with some natural and man-made causes, industrialisation near the forest increased the threat, she said.
Different international and local environmental organisations and scientists opposed the project based on their study saying that the project would create a devastating impact on the forest, said Sultana, also an eminent rights activist.
The greens activities submitted some research papers on the negative impacts of the coal-based power plant to the prime minister's office in August, but no reply is yet to be found though four months have already been passed, she said.
Bangladesh Environment Network (BEN) Coordinator Prof Nazrul Islam, Dhaka University Professor Badrul Imam, and Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) General Secretary Abdul Matin, also spoke, the release added.
Amid grave protest from home and abroad, the government is constructing the 1,320-megawatt power plant in Rampal upazila of Bagerhat to improve the country's power generation capacity.