DHAKA: Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and green activists yesterday called for cancellation of the ‘suicidal decision’ of Bangladesh on the proposed coal-fired power project, to be built by India’s NTPC near the world’s biggest mangrove Sundarbans.
The corruption watchdog body along with Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (Bela), ActionAid Bangladesh, Bangladesh Paribesh Andolan (Bapa) and Save the Sundarbans also placed a five-point charter, including halting land acquisition and ensuring public participation in taking decision on the project to protect biodiversity of the world’s largest mangrove forest.
Their other demands include maintaining the highest alertness in protecting valuable national resources and the World Heritage Sundarbans and making the deal signed with India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman, Bapa representative Ashraf Mridha, Bela chief executive Syeda Rizwana Hasan, ActionAid representative Shomsher Ali and Save the Sundarbans co-ordinator S K Faridul Islam were present at the press conference.
On January 27, 12 renowned personalities of Bangladesh demanded immediate withdrawal of the government’s decision to set up a coal-based power plant near the Sundarbans to protect environment and biodiversity of the area.
The signatories to the statement included Sultana Kamal, Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Rasheda K Chowdhury, Syeda Rizwana Hasan, M A Matin, Abu Naser, Sara Hossain, Khushi Kabir, Badiul Alam Majumder, Farah Kabir and Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
Coal-fired plants emit huge carbon dioxide and produce ashes and thus pollute the environment. Wastes from a coal plant also contaminate nearby water bodies.
On January 29, an agreement was signed with the NTPC, India’s largest power company, for setting up the proposed 1,300 megawatt plant at Rampal sub-district in Bagerhat.