Drop Rampal project by tomorrow | The Daily Star
12:40 AM, September 22, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:00 AM, September 22, 2013

Drop Rampal project by tomorrow

Citizens' platform asks govt

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports yesterday demanded cancellation of the government decision to set up the Rampal Power Plant close to the Sundarbans by tomorrow.
Leaders of the committee made the call ahead of its long march programme towards the Sundarbans starting on Tuesday to press home the demand.
They said if implemented, the power plant would destroy the largest mangrove forest in the world.
“The Sundarbans protects us. Now, we have to protect the Sundarbans, considering its immense contributions [to the environment]. That's why, the long march has been announced,” said Prof Anu Mohammad, member secretary of the committee, while briefing reporters on different aspects of the long march at Mukti Bhaban in the capital.
On April 20 this year, Bangladesh and India inked a deal to construct a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant in Bagerhat's Rampal, only 14 kilometres away from the Sundarbans.
Prof Mohammad alleged that in the name of solving the energy crisis, the government has taken “such a destructive path” to serve the interests of a vested quarter at home and abroad.
“There are many options to generate power but there is no alternative to the Sundarbans,” he said, urging the government to implement their seven-point recommendations to solve the country's energy crisis.
He also called upon “conscious” Indian citizens to stand by Bangladeshis to protest the decision of constructing the power plant project.
Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, convener of the committee, said the Rampal Power Plant was an example of “Indian aggression against Bangladesh” and no conscious person could support it.
“We will not make it happen. We will resist it,” he added.
Eminent columnist Syed Abul Moksud said, “We want electricity and development, but we cannot sacrifice the environment for this.”
Ruhin Hossain Prince, Bimal Biswas, Tipu Biswas, Junaed Saki and Saiful Haque, among other leaders of the organisation, were also present on the occasion.
The long march will begin from the Jatiya Press Club premises at 9:00am on Tuesday and will end with a rally at Digraj in the Sundarbans on September 28. Rallies will also be held in Manikganj, Faridpur, Jessore and Khulna during the five-day long march.
Meanwhile, Somogeet Sangskritik Prangan, a cultural organisation, organised a programme at the Teachers Students Centre (TSC) on Dhaka University campus yesterday, demanding cancellation of Rampal Power Plant to save the wildlife of the forest.

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