Govt to lay foundation stone Oct 22 | The Daily Star
12:52 AM, September 26, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:52 AM, September 26, 2013

Rampal Power Plant

Govt to lay foundation stone Oct 22

The government will officially launch the much-talked about Rampal power plant project next month despite growing opposition from environmentalists over its potential vitiating impacts on the Sundarbans.
Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury yesterday said the foundation stone of the 1,320-megawatt plant will be laid on October 22 addressing all environmental concerns.
“The plant won't negatively affect the mangrove forest as the emission of green house gas would be kept at the minimum level,” he told reporters during a briefing at Bidyut Bhaban in the capital.
“We are setting up the plant 14 kilometres off the Sundarbans. We will import high quality coal. We are building 275-metre high chimney. We will employ the state-of-the art technology. We are taking all measures to keep its impact on the Sundarbans at a negligible level,” he added.
The media briefing came just a day after the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports had begun a long march from the capital towards the project site in Rampal to drum up public opposition to the project.
Environmentalists and eminent citizens have already expressed worries about the project as the plant would produce electricity just 14-km off the Sundarbans. By burning a huge amount of coal, the plant would also produce green house gases, sulphur, fly ash and other particles hazardous to the World Heritage site.
The government, said the adviser, has chosen the site as a small number of people would have to be evacuated, water would be available and access to the river route would make it easy to import coal.
Tawfiq claimed that the controversy over the plant and its impact on the Sundarbans was “not based on facts.”
Initially, the plant would produce about 650 MW of power, said Power Secretary Monowarul Islam.
The Department of Environment has not only approved the scheme, but also made some suggestions, which would be given due consideration, he added.
Bangladesh and India had inked a deal in April to set up the coal-fired power plant in Rampal, Bagerhat.
The adviser also informed newsmen that India would start test supply of 250 MW of power to Bangladesh by Friday, with commercial supply beginning on October 5.

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