Scrap Rampal power plant project by Sep 23
Nat’l committee urges govtStaff Correspondent
National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports on Saturday called on the Awami League-led government to scrap Rampal Thermal Power Plant project within September 23 to save the Sundarban, the largest mangrove forest in the world.
The Bangladesh government on April 20 signed a deal with an Indian company to install Rampal coal-based thermal power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat, 14 kilometres away from the Sundarban.
Anu Muhammad, the member secretary of the national committee, at a press conference at the Communist Party of Bangladesh central office termed the deal ‘unequal’ and said the Indian company would benefit much from the proposed plant.
He also demanded scrapping of modified Model Production Sharing Contract-2012 under which the government is going to lease the offshore gas blocks in the Bay of Bengal to the international oil companies.
Energy security of the country would be at stake if the Rampal plant is installed and the offshore gas blocks are leased, he added.
The national committee will hold a five-day Dhaka-Sundarban long march from September 24 to press for its seven-point demands, including scrapping of the deal on the proposed Rampal Thermal Power Plant.
The 400-kilometres long march will start from Dhaka on September 24 and hold rallies at Savar Rana Plaza, Jahangirnagar University and Dhamrai on the day. The marchers will reach Faridpur on September 25 and hold rallies at Goalunda and Rajbari sadar.
They will arrive in Jessore on September 26 while in Khulna on September 27. Finally, the committee will hold a rally at Digraj where it will announce the Sundarban declaration.
The marchers will go to Rampal by bus. Some cultural troupes will also accompany them and perform dramas and songs.
Sheikh Mohammad Shaheedullah, the convener of the national committee, said that after implementation of the project, the Indian company would be benefited as Bangladesh would buy power at higher prices and it would harm the Sundarban and put damaging impact on the environment.
He also demanded cancellation of the Environmental Impact Assessment certificate given by the government in favour of the Rampal power plant project.
National committee leaders Mujahidul Islam Selim, Siddiqur Rahman, Syed Abul Maksud, BD Rahmatullah, Bimal Biswas, Tipu Biswas, Shubhrangshu Chakrabarty, Bazlur Rashid Firoz, Zonayed Saki, Saiful Huq, Ruhin Hossain Prince and Mosharraf Hossain Nannu were present at the press conference.
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