Anti-Rampal campaigners seek mega solar power plant

Anti-Rampal campaigners seek mega solar power plant

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Renewing its demand for cancellation of the coal-based Rampal Power Plant near the Sundarbans, the National Committee to Protect Sundarbans (NCPS) on Tuesday demanded that a mega solar power plant be set up at the Rampal site.“We’ve placed our demand again with more confidence for scrapping the Rampal Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Project. We’re also demanding for installing a mega solar power project at the site,” NCPS convener Sultana Kamal told a press conference at the BILIA Conference Centre in the capital.The NCPS organised the press conference to present the findings of their research, and observations and comments came from some reputed international experts on coal-fired power plants to rebut the Rampal power plant authority’s ‘wrong and misleading answers to some questions’.Sultana Kamal said the government has recently responded to the questions of a Bangladeshi-origin Canadian national on the Rampal power plant project.“But, international experts observe that the information the government has given are half-truth or false, irrelevant, misleading and contrary to the environmental impact assessment,” she said.The NPSC convener said this is why they are terming the government’s answers unscientific and insufficient, which are not acceptable at all. The Sundarbans, which is a Unesco world heritage site and a habitat to endangered Bengal tigers and river dolphins, is situated about 14 kilometres off the proposed 1,320-megawatt coal-based power plant site. The power plant is a joint venture of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited of India under the name of Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company. Sultana Kamal said if the Sundarbans is destroyed by setting up coal-fired Rampal power plant, the nation will be liable to history.She said the power plant is being set up to serve the interests of a particular quarter, not the nation.“They’re trying to gain their business interest (using the government) by setting up the power plant. So, protecting biodiversity of the Sundarbans has little value to them,” Sultana Kamal said.Prof Anu Mohammad, member secretary of the National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas, Natural Resources and Power-Port, said the Rampal power plant project will not only threaten the flora and fauna and biodiversity of the Sundarbans, but also will adversely affect the livelihoods of locals living in the adjoining areas of Rampal, including Bagerhat and Khulna.Former caretaker government adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury also addressed the press conference. Sharif Jamil presented the remarks international experts made in response to Rampal Maitree Super Power Plant Company’s statement.
source:UNB

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