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Saturday, October 20, 2012

[] Rampal power plant to doom Sundarbans: Study

Rampal power plant to doom Sundarbans: Study

The proposed coal-based Rampal Power Plant will bring more harm than
good for the country, environmental experts warned on Saturday.
"Rampal Power Plant will bring 81 percent of loss against only 19
percent good for the country…the project will cause environmental
damage for the country's largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans," Dr
Abdullah Harun Chowdhury, professor of environmental science at Khulna
University, told a press conference at the National Press Club in the
city this afternoon.

The government has decided to set up 1320MW coal-fired power plant
beside the Poshur River at the edge of the Sundarbans under the Rampal
Upazila of Bagerhat district. It signed a joint venture agreement with
an Indian state-run electricity generation company on January 29 this

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa), Transparency International
Bangladesh (TIB), Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA),
Centre for Human Rights Movement, Save the Sundarbans Foundation,
Committee to Protect Agricultural land, Bagerhat Development
Commission and Green Voice jointly organised the press conference.

Delivering the key findings of his research titled 'Environmental
Impact of coal based Power Plant of Rampal on the Sundarbans and
Surrounding areas', Dr Abdullah Harun said if the power plant is
established, the ecosystem, environment and wildlife of the Sundarbans
will be badly affected and it will be impossible to bring back the
natural state of the forest.

He said the coal-based power plant will also damage the surface water
and agriculture of the surrounding areas and affect the livelihood of
local people.

The research findings shows that climate, topography, land use
pattern, air and water quality, wetlands, floral and faunal diversity
and captive fisheries will be affected permanently due to proposed
power plant.

It says increasing water logging condition, air pollution, health
hazards and destruction of agriculture will happen due to the plant.

Dr Abdullah Harun said a typical coal power plant uses only 33-35
percent of the coal's heat and majority of the heat is released into
the atmosphere or absorbed by the cooling water.

Addressing the press conference, Prof Asif nazrul, a teacher of law at
Dhaka University, said the Indian government was trying to set up the
project in India, but the Indian people protested the coal-fired
project and the Indian government is compelled to set up outside the

"Why does Bangladesh government take such a destructive project near a
world heritage side?" he questioned, adding that it is the
government's international obligation to protect world heritage sides
like the Sundarbans.

Bapa president ASM Shahjahan, BELA chief executive Adv Syeda Rizwana
Hasan, convenor of the National Committee for Protection of Oil, Gas,
Mineral Resources, Power and Port Engr Mohammad Shahidullah, water
expert Engr Enamaul Haque, among others, spoke at the press


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