South Asian rights body calls for halt to Rampal plant
A regional human rights group today called for suspension of Rampal plant's construction in the Sundarbans and urged for an impartial impact assessment.
South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) said their probe found the project will leave an "irreparable damage" to the world's largest mangrove forest.
The organisation revealed their findings in a report form at a programme in the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka. They said the government's environmental impact assessment (EIA) on Sundarbans is defective.
The 1,320MW coal-powered Rampal power plant was given the green signal last June during the maiden visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, activists have been protesting against the plant saying it will bring damage to the mangrove forest – a heritage site – and the people living around it.
"The multi-faceted costs to the local people and the irreversible damage to the fragile ecosystem and biodiversity have not been adequately prioritised when proposing the project," SAHR said today.
As harm brought to locals, SAHR said it found that "a large number of families" who depended on the land and water bodies for their livelihoods have been displaced without any compensation.
"They have been excluded from government statistics," the rights body said. "Locals and activists protesting this development have been harassed by power quarters."
As damage for the environment to Sundarbans, SAHR reported of water pollution, oil spillage, bilge water and ballast discharge, noise pollution and air pollution because of coal dust.