Save mother-like Sundarbans. Long march reaches Khulna | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Save mother-like Sundarbans. Long march reaches Khulna


Observing that the Sundarbans protect people from every natural disaster like a mother, convener of National Committee to Protect Oil Gas Mineral Resources Power and Ports Engineer Sheikh M Shahidullah on Friday urged all to save the world’s largest mangrove forest.   “Like a mother, the Sundarbans keeps all safe during all calamities. And the Rampal power plant is being established as part of a conspiracy to destroy that Sundarbans. We’ve to save the mother-like Sundarbans unitedly,” he said.   The National Committee convener was addressing a wayside rally at Swadhinata Chattar in Fultala around 12:30pm in the build-up to the long march to Mongla of Bagerhat.   The long march that was launched from the capital on Tuesday demanding the cancellation of the project being jointly implemented by Bangladesh and India at a site near the world heritage Sundarbans reached Khulna from Jessore on Friday.   It will reach Bagerhat district on Saturday noon when a rally will be held there. Later, the long march will start for its final destination, Digraj in Mongla upazila, where the last rally will be held and the long march declarations will be read out.   Meanwhile, the administration of Bagerhat on Friday decided to allow the marchers to hold their scheduled rally at Digraj.   On Thursday, the administration decided not to allow the marchers to cross the Rampal upazila boundary line.   Bagerhat DC M Shukur Ali on Friday said the long marchers can now go to Digraj and hold their rally.   The national committee leaders alleged that the government’s move to set up coal-fired power plant near the Sundarbans will harm the Sundarbans destroying its environment, ecosystem and biodiversity. – UNB adds: A long march, demanding the scrapping of a coal-fired power project near the Sundarbans, has reached Khulna.
Several thousand people taking part in it reached the port city on Friday, the fourth day of the march. They are expected to spend the night there.
The protesters will head for the final destination, Digraj, on Saturday morning.
The marchers held two rallies on their way to Khulna at Jessore’s Nawaparha and Khulna’s Fultala.
The convenor of National Committee on Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, Mohammad Shahidullah, said there were alternatives places and means for power generation.
He accused the government of ‘plotting to destroy the Sunderbans’ without exploring the alternatives.
“India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) saw its bid to set up coal-fired power plants in three states rejected. The NTPC has undertaken a project to destroy the Sundarbans in the name of producing power,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s Energy Affairs Advisor Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury has said the foundation stone of the 1,320MW plant will be laid on Oct 22.
Locals and environmentalists fear the plant would endanger the very existence of Sundarbans if it is constructed at Rampal, some 14 kilometres from the world’s largest mangrove forest.
A long march was taken out from Dhaka protesting set up of the power plant.
The government, on the other hand, claimed several people and organisations were ‘spreading canards’ about the project.


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