Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina smelt a conspiracy behind BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s sudden open stance against the proposed coal-fired power plant at Rampal.“An anti-development vested quarter has long been trying to create a negative attitude among people about the Rampal power plant project by making baseless, fabricated and imaginary statements and giving false information,” she told a press conference.
Sheikh Hasina further said, “The cat finally came out of bag on August 24.I used to think what was the source of power or instigation of those on a movement against Rampal power plant. It is now clear as Khaleda Zia openly joined the false campaign through a press conference, though she has long been instigating them from behind the scene.”Mentioning that BNP has been maintaining silence on the issue for a long time, Hasina said, “I think there is a deep-rooted hidden conspiracy behind her joining the propaganda openly.”Hasina arranged the press conference on the Rampal power plant at her official residence Ganobhaban.She said the proposed Rampal power plant will in no way harm the environment and the Sundarbans. “We’re going to set up an ultra super critical power plant at Rampal. The plant will be equipped with the best technologies of the world… the best quality coal will be imported from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa to use here. All sorts of modern technology will be used at the power plant to curb any kind of pollution,” she said.The Prime Minister said no polluted water or boiled water will be dumped into the Pashur River. Instead, the river will be dredged regularly to maintain its navigation that will eventually be convenient for Mongla port.The 1320-megawat power plant project 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.Earlier on Wednesday, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at a press conference termed the proposed Rampal coal-fired power plant project ‘anti-people, illogical’ and ‘unprofitable’ one, and urged the government to take steps for scraping it.She also urged people to raise their voice against the move to implement the project near the world’s largest mangrove forest Sundarbans.