'Rampal construction to continue as Unesco does not mention it'

‘Rampal construction to continue as Unesco does not mention it’


Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Monday said the construction of the coal-fired Rampal Power Plant near the Sundarbans will continue as Unesco has no ‘restriction’.“The Rampal issue has been dropped from the Unesco resolution,” he told a press briefing at Bidyut Bhaban.

The government’s assertion came even after media reports mentioned that Unesco did not give any full clearance for the power project.Dismissing such reports as unfounded ones, Tawfiq claimed that Unesco has asked the government to conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) which the government will comply with. “Although our existing law has no provision for SEA, we’ll do it for our own sake and it’ll take at least two years.”

“So, work on both the Rampal project and SEA will go ahead simultaneously,” he added.The PM’s adviser said once the SEA is completed, the government will take mitigating measures on the basis of the report.Unesco uploaded the resolution taken at the 41st session of its World Heritage Committee earlier this month where it asked the Bangladesh government to submit the SEA report to the World Heritage Centre (WHC) as soon as it is available.Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, PDB Chairman Khaled Mahmud and Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain were present at the press briefing.


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