'Save the Sundarbans' long march reaches Rajbari
The long march set out to "save the Sundarbans" started for Faridpur from Rajbari Wednesday afternoon.
The participants of the long march who have been protesting demanding cancellation of the Rampal power plant project in Bagerhat reached Rajbari around 2:30pm.
They held a cultural event and a rally on the Badminton Court premises in Rajbari town and started for Faridpur around 4:30pm, reported our correspondent who is travelling with the long march.
Earlier, the participants of the long march reached Rajbari crossing Padma river around 1:40pm.
The protesters were holding processions chanting slogans demanding that the government should scrap the project which is only 14 kilometres off the world's largest mangrove forest the Sundarbans when this report was filed around 2:00pm.
The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports has organised the long march.
The long march reached Manikganj around 6:00pm Tuesday starting from Dhaka.
Around 10:30am Wednesday, a convoy of around 20 vehicles carrying several hundred people left Manikganj town for Faridpur where they are expected to stay for night.
The protesters are scheduled to hold a rally at Faridpur town in the afternoon.
Prior to resuming the long march, the protesters paraded through different roads in Manikganj town for one hour from around 9:30am carrying banners and hoisting placards to drum up people support to cancel the power plant project.
They also distributed leaflets against the Rampal power plant.
The committee in association with several leftist parties, including the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) and Gono Sanghati Andolon, hosted the rally which the protesters scheduled to hold at different districts during their long march.
They will hold a roadside rally and distribute leaflets before setting out for Faridpur.
On the way to Rampal, demonstrators are scheduled to stage more rallies in Jessore and Khulna.
The long march is scheduled to reach Rampal on Saturday, where the protest programme will end with a rally at Digraj.
Bangladesh and India had inked a deal on April 20 to set up a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant at Rampal adjacent to the Sundarbans.
The project drew huge flak from eminent citizens, including the national committee members, as they alleged that the government in the name of solving the energy crisis had chosen a destructive path to “serve the interests of a vested quarter” at home and abroad.
Environmentalists warned that if the power plant was implemented, it would destroy the Sundarbans.