PM advises Oil-Gas body to visit Barapukuria plant
175MW electricity now flows through Bangladesh gridNew Age Online
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina Saturday advised the environmental activists opposing setting up Rampal thermal power plant near Sundarban to visit Barapukuria coal-fired power plant in Dinajpur to understand the possible environmental impact of Rampal.
She asked the leaders of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Port to visit Barapukuria coal-fired power plant so that they can have some knowledge about (minimum) impact of Rampal 1,320MW plant on the Sundarbans.
Hasina was speaking at a gathering in Bheramara 500MW substation in Kushtia on the occasion of the opening ceremony of commercial power import from India.
In her speech, Hasina criticised the Oil-Gas body which has been protesting the much talked-about 1,320MW coal-fired power project. The activists insist that Rampal plant would destroy the biodiversity of the Sundarbans.
She repeatedly said, ‘The government will not do anything, Hasina will not do anything that harms the Sundarbans.’
The prime minister also laid foundation stones for the Rampal 1,320MW coal-fired power plant and a 360MW gas-fired power plant on the occasion.
Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh attended the ceremony through teleconferencing.
Finance minister AMA Muhith, foreign minister Dipu Moni, information minister Hasanul Haque Inu, prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, and state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Md Enamul Huq from Bangladesh side and Indian minister for new and renewable energy Faruq Abdullah and power secretary Pradeep kumar Sinha addressed the occasion.
Pointing to the long march initiative organised by the Oil-Gas body, Hasina said the government did not create any obstacles; instead she wanted them to visit Rampal to see the area.
Speakers said both the countries were working on the feasibilities to extend the scale of power trade in the region from hydroelectricity sources in Nepal, Bhutan and north-eastern provinces of India through trans-border grid lines.
Bangladesh can accrue benefits from such grids, the speakers said.
Bangladesh on Friday tested the substation and the transmission line intending to import 500MW of power from Indian grid on a trial basis through a 103-kilometre high-tension line between Baharampur in Pashchim Banga and Bheramara in Kushtia (Bangladesh).
The commercial transmission began Saturday with 175MW power while it would take more than a month to reach the transmission to 500MW.
Out of the 500MW, 250MW will be imported from the Indian central government’s unallocated quota, which is usually supplied to different states of India. The rest 250MW will be imported from India’s private sector.
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