Power plants near Sundarbans | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 15, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 15, 2016

Editorial

Power plants near Sundarbans

Independent impact study is in order

We are all for adding to the current level of power generation, but without adversely affecting the ecology. We, therefore, concur with the recommendation of the National Committee to Protect Sundarbans, a citizen platform of 101 eminent activists and scholars, that the development activities of Rampal power plant and the adjacent private Orion power plant should be held in abeyance until a new environment impact assessment (EIA) is conducted by a UN-led independent team. The committee, which has consistently highlighted the dangers of constructing a coal power plant only 14 km away from the largest mangrove forest in the world, has also urged Unesco to recognise the Sundarbans on the list of its World Heritage in Danger. 

Environmental experts, both in the country and abroad, have raised serious concerns about the EIA approved by the Department of Environment on August 5 2013, arguing that the assessment was flawed, unscientific, and downplayed the severity of the environmental cost of the project. Notably, the EIA was carried out by a government-owned institution rather than a non-partisan body, which may well give rise to questions. It is telling that the EIA was also rejected by various relevant national and international bodies; The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Bangladesh has also called for an independent scientific EIA. Last year, three French banks and two Norwegian refused to invest in the Rampal power plant for the risks it posed to the critical ecological area and highlighted the limitations with the current EIA. 

Environmentalists' demands that the coal power plant be relocated to a different, less environmentally sensitive location have, thus far, fallen on deaf years. The least the government can do is facilitate an independent EIA to objectively determine whether it's safe to carry on development activities in this region. 

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222


Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top