Ban on open pit mining demanded | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 09, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 09, 2012

Ban on open pit mining demanded

National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports yesterday urged the government to ban open pit mining by December 31, and stop the Rampal power plant project to protect the Sundarbans.
Addressing a press conference at Mukti Bhaban in the capital, the committee leaders announced that their Dinajpur unit will begin agitation programmes on November 13 demanding implementation of the Phulbari contract and eviction of Asia Energy from the country.
Prof Anu Muhammad, member secretary of the organisation, said the committee's Khulna and Bagherhat units will organise protest programmes within this month against the coal-based power plant at Rampal.
“If the government remains inactive till November 28, the committee will go for tougher actions,” he said.
Engineer Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, the committee's convener, said, “The Rampal power plant was designed despite reasonable opposition from experts and locals.”
“If the project is for the country's development, why should the government be afraid to assess its environmental impact?” he added.
Referring to a home ministry circular on open pit mining, Shahidullah said, "The people of Phulbari are very angry over the government's pro-corporate stance. We urge the government to withdraw the circular disseminated in four upazilas of Dinajpur.”

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