GPH Ispat Ltd has given a clarification in response to a report published in The Daily Star on Sunday with the headline “Dam makeshift, damage extensive”.
Following is the full text of the clarification.
GPH becomes the pioneer in the country’s steel sector to install the world standard Quantum Electric Arc Furnace technology. The plant will generate several thousand employments, save electricity and natural gas, a huge foreign currency, produce import alternatives of Bangladesh’s Steel demand and contribute a lot to the government exchequer.
In compliance with the honorable prime minister’s instruction to use surface water instead of ground water, the GPH management started works accordingly to fulfill its water demand for the upcoming plant that needs almost 6 million litres of water per day in its production process.
According to suggestion of the water resource ministry, GPH has already completed the feasibility study through the nationally and internationally recognised Institute of Water Modeling (IWM) for the same purpose.
Further, GPH has also engaged a consultant to prepare the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report in line with IWM suggestion to secure the water demand of the plant. Once the EIA report is approved by the Department of Environment (DoE), the dam or rain water harvesting project will be taken up.
Any dam, if built on the basis of approval of the EIA report, will have no negative impact on the forest, environment and neighborhood.
Currently we gathered some sand bags in our own land as a pre-preparatory work of the rain water harvesting project, which is plain area inside the hill.
The most important fact is that GPH did not dig any canal, nor constructed yet any makeshift dam in the reported area to divert water of the streams that may jeopardise the neighbouring environment as well as indigenous people of Tripura Palli.
The people of Tripura Palli use water of the “ChotoKumiraChara” which has natural resources of water flow round the year. The drain owned by the GPH has been linked with this Chara which is not a canal and no natural waterflow, simply a water flow measure from hilly area to facilitate during rainy season.
If the dam or rainwater harvesting project is constructed in this area, it would be beneficial for the Tripura Palli and other surrounding areas to protect them from the flood in the rainy season.
Besides, the director general of the Water Development Board (BWDB) has constituted a seven-member feasibility study committee on April 21, 2019 on the construction of the environment friendly water reservoir to use the unused rainwater springing from the hills in Sitakunda and its adjacent areas.
It was referred in the news report that the forest department has filed a case with Sitakunda Police Station against the GPH. Actually a complaint has been lodged by the forest department in the Judicial Magistrate Forest Court and the complaint number is 56/2019. However, we are yet to receive any notice in this regard.
The fact is that the forest department is claiming a piece of land owned by GPH Ispat. So, we have lodged an application with the Sitakundaupzilanirbahi officer to solve the issue by measuring the land by government surveyors.
Our Additional Managing Director Almas Shimul, who has been quoted in the story, elaborated on all the above facts to reporter Mostafa Yousuf when he met him in Chattogram earlier.
Unfortunately, in our views, Shimul’s comments were not reflected properly in the report. That’s why we are trying to explain through this communication actually what is happening in the reported area.