Rampal writ hearing adjourned | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Rampal writ hearing adjourned

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The High Court has adjourned until Wednesday the hearing of a writ petition seeking a stay on the government’s plan to construct the
Rampal power plant.
The bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Zafar Ahmed have adjourned the proceedings after a preliminary hearing.
Advocate Manzil Morshed represented the petitioner in the hearing and Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the state.
Manzil Morshed filed the petition on Sunday on behalf of four lawyers, Asaduzzaman Siddiqui, Md Eklas Uddin Bhuiyan, Mahbubul Islam and Syeda
Shahin Ara Laily, seeking a stay on the project until detailed evaluation is made on the impact of the power plant on the environment.
Secretaries of the prime minister’s office, cabinet division, planning ministry, environment ministry and power ministry as well as director
general of the department of environment, Power Development Board’s chairman, Deputy Commissioner of Bagerhat district and director of the
Rampal Coal-fired Power Plant Project have been made party to the case and named as the defendants in the petition.
The petition is requesting the High Court for a rule on why the defendants should not be ordered to form a committee with
internationally acclaimed environmentalists and bio-diversity ecosystem experts who can evaluate how the coal-based power plant, to
be constructed 14 km off the Sundarbans, would affect the forest and its diversity.
“We are continuously receiving news of how the power plant will endanger the environment. Another group is saying that it will not
cause harm. I know from general knowledge that it will harm the environment. But none of us are experts on the matter,” Manzil Morshed
told journalists after submitting the writ.
“Sundarbans is our pride; it is a world heritage site. We will never get it back if it is destroyed.”
“So the impact of setting up a power plant near the forest should be considered with all seriousness. That is why we requested the
formation of a committee with local and internationally recognised experts. We want the project to be put in hold until that committee
comes out with a report.”
The petition enclosed reports published in various newspapers and two relevant verdicts.
A verdict by the Appellate Division mentioned that people’s lives are greater than the law. Harming the environment will also cause misery
to the people. The petitioners added another High Court verdict which ordered that environment must be preserved while carrying out
development.
Several writs were filed before the Rampal Power Plant was approved.
The new petition was filed as the earlier writs became ineffective after the plant was approved and the procedure for setting up the
plant started rolling, said Manzil Morshed.-bdnews24.com

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