RAMPAL 1,320MW POWER PROJECT
Govt to lay foundation on October 22Staff Correspondent
Despite strong protests, the government is going ahead to lay the foundation of a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat near the Sundarbans, power division secretary Monwar Islam said on Wednesday.
He said this at a hurriedly called press briefing when a long-march towards Rampal, organised by the National Committee to protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports, reached Faridpur.
Prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury and other officials of the power sector attended the press briefing.
Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company, a joint venture between the Bangladesh Power Development Board and Indian National Thermal Power Corporation with 50:50 shares, is implementing the $2 billion power project at Rampal in Bagerhat district near the Sundarbans.
The government held a number of campaign programmes in favour of Rampal power project in Khulna and Bagerhat before the oil-gas committee started long march on Tuesday.
At the press briefing, Tawfiq said, ‘I know people demand for power but I have no information that they did not want Rampal power project.’
He asked how people could spend four to five days on a long march if they had other tasks to do.
Tawfiq also said that the government was not violating any agreement on environment, Royal Bengal Tiger or the Sundarbans.
On July 10 this year, the Department of Environment gave approval to the PDB submitted Environment Impact Assessment Report.
On April 20, the power board signed a power purchase agreement with the BIFPC to buy electricity from the proposed plant for 25 years.
The authorities concerned, however, are yet to fix the price of electricity as its cost of production was yet to be ascertained.
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