TIB concerned at coal-fired power plant deal near forest

TIB concerned at coal-fired power plant deal near forest

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The Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed its deep concern for signing power purchase agreement (PPA) with contractors to build coal-fired thermal power plants by the Power Development Board (PDB) in protected forest near Tengragiri without environmental clearance from the department of environment (DoE).The TIB yesterday urged the authority concerned for immediate cancellation the initiative considering the threat of environment, ecology and life of the surrounding areas.
The PDB has initiated to build coal-fired thermal power plants near Tengragiri protected forests in Barguna.
In a statement, TIB executive director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said, “according to media reports, local company Iso Tech Group and two other foreign companies are going to construct 307MWcoal-fired thermal power plants without DoE clearance at a distance of less than one km from Tengragiri protected forest, known as second Sundarbans.”
The PDB has already signed 25-year agreement with PPA to purchase electricity.
According to the Environment Protection Act, 1997, 7 (4), it is needed full environmental impact assessment (EIA) report and clearance certificate from the DoE before establishing any industrial unit which are ‘red’ classified.
Despite mandatory to obtain environmental clearance certificate from the DoE before setting up of such red classified industrial unit, the TIB executive director said, adding, “but it’s bad to have been taken such plant without DoE clearance.
Not only that, no industrial unit could be established within 10 kilometers in protect forests as per environmental law, Iftekharuzzaman said.
He said it is violation of the law of the country to establish such industry with the participation of government concern.
The whole process of the position in receiving clearance from the DoE and PDB is found different at the management, transparency, accountability and a clear lack of co-ordination among the two agencies, he observed.
Besides, a 307-megawatt coal-fired power plant will also be constructed in the same area.
Iftekharuzzaman urged the authority concerned to refrain from establishing ecology anti-coal power plant violating the Constitution and the laws of life.
The TIB executive director said, the constitutional and legal obligations have been clearly violated in terms of preserve the environment and ecology by taking such initiatives.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Environment and Forests in October 2010 declared the Tengragiri forests as wildlife sanctuaries.
Naturally grown forests Tengragiri were the part of the Sundarbans in the past. Tengragiri or Fatrar forest was declared reserve forest in 1960.
There many species of trees like Gewa, Jaam, Dhundul, Kewra, Sunduri, Bain,Karamcha and Goran including about 40 species of wildlife like squirrels and monkey are in the mangrove forests. – Staff Reporter

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