HC questions power plant near Sundarbans

The High Court issued a rule upon the government on Thursday to explain in two weeks why it should not be directed not to set up the proposed power plant in Rampal upazila of Bagerhat near the Sundarbans.

The court came up with the rule following a writ petition filed challenging the government’s move to construct the 1300-megawatt coal-fired power plant at Sapmari-Katakhali Mouja of Rampal.

Secretaries to the planning, environment, energy and land ministries, director general of Department of Environment, chairman of Power Development Board, deputy commissioner of Bagerhat and project director of the proposed plant have been made respondents to the rule.

Sheikh Siddique Ahammed, organising secretary of an environmentalist organization – Save the Sundarbans – filed the petition as public interest litigation on January 31.

The petition says if the proposed power plant is set up, the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest, and its biodiversity will be damaged.

Setting up the plant near the Sundarbans and its surrounding area will be detrimental to natural resources, biodiversity, wetland, forest and wildlife of the locality which is against the fundamental principles of state policy and the relevant provisions of constitution, the petitioner said.

Petitioner’s counsel barrister Zakir Hossain told The Daily Star that the governments of Bangladesh and India have jointly started a process to set up the power plant in Rampal which is within nine kilometers to the Sundarbans.

The government is now acquiring land for the power plant project, he said.
Source: The daily star


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