Marchers vow Rampal resistance, Govt seeks to clarify position | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Marchers vow Rampal resistance, Govt seeks to clarify position

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A day after Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury announced the government’s decision to lay the foundation of the coal-based Rampal Thermal Power Plant on Oct 22, the National Committee on Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, and Power-Port has vowed to resist the function.
The committee’s Convener, Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, made the announcement at a street rally demanding scrapping of the project, as the marchers reached Magura on Thursday, covering a third of way to the plant site in Bagherhat.
The government has on the other hand claimed that a section of people and organisations are spreading ‘propaganda’ against the coal-based Rampal Thermal Power Plant, to be set up near the Sundarbans at the joint initiative of Bangladesh and India.
The government through a press note has clarified its latest stance on the project which the environmentalists believe will endanger the very existence of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
The press note  was issued by the government’s Information Department on Thursday in the face of a long march that is advancing toward the site of the power plant in Bagherhat.
“The ceremony to lay the foundation of the Rampal Power Plant will be resisted at any cost. The project will destroy the Sundarbans, and we will prevent it by getting the people on our side and sacrificing our lives, if necessary.”

The PM’s Adviser said on Wednesday that the plant’s foundation stone would be laid on Oct 22.

The Rampal Thermal Power Plant, an India-Bangladesh initiative, will be located within 14 km of the Sundarbans.

The pro-left participants in the long march alleged that the coal-based project would harm biodiversity and ruin the world heritage.

The government has been claiming that the environment would not be harmed, as there would be enough checks to prevent pollution.

Adviser Tawfiq said on Wednesday those against the power plant were being driven by emotion, not by any logic.

The committee’s Member Secretary Anu Muhammad also addressed Magura’s street rally.

“The Energy Adviser has said that those participating in the long march have nothing to do. So they are roaming about in a long march.”

“Those taking part in the long march are working for people’s interest. But Tawfiq-e-Elahi is busy collecting commission by establishing the plant that will destroy the country.”

The committee members began their march on Tuesday in a bid to stall the project. They marched toward Jhenidah after the Magura rally. They will spend the night at Jessore.

The march is scheduled to end with a rally at Digraj, in Bagherhat. A declaration is expected during its conclusion on Sep 28.
The government press note said, “Some individuals/organisations are trying to confuse people about this government effort by spreading misinformation. The government is implementing the project which is very important in the interest of the people,” states the press note.
The Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Wednesday announced that the MW 1,320 power plant will be founded on Oct 22.
Members of the National Committee on Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, and Power-Port are heading for the plant site, barely 14km off the Sundarbans, in a Long-march in a bid to stall the project.

The government has been claiming that the environment would not be harmed, as there would be enough checks to prevent pollution.

The government press note said the power plant has been approved to be built 14 km off the Sundarbans and 72 km from the UNESCO announced National Heritage Site. The government claimed the distance is safe enough for a coal-based power plant to be set up.

“The plant will be run using imported high standard coal and it is based on a super critical technology. It will keep Sulfar, fly ash, and air pollution by other means to a minimum level which will not harm the environment anyway.”

The project will be implemented following all the advices of the Environment Department, said the press note.  – bdnews24.com

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