Dhaka, Jun 18 (UNB)– The proposed coal-fired power plant adjacent to the Sundarbans will not do any harm to the world’s largest mangrove forest, claims Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin.
“Fears about damage to Sundarbans are unfounded,” he said a press briefing on World Environment Day at the Secretariat on Tuesday.
He said that they visited the forest last month and did not see anything indicating that Sundarbans was being endangered.
“We don’t think Rampal will pose any threat to Sundarbans,” the minister said.
Environment Secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury said the increased number of tigers and trees prove that the coal-fired plant will not harm the mangrove forest.
“We didn’t give clearance to any new or red category companies,” he said.
The ministry has prepared a strategic assessment project and submitted it to the Planning Ministry. The work will begin shortly after their approval, he added.
Rampal is a proposed 1,320 megawatt coal-fired power plant. It is a joint venture between India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation and Bangladesh Power Development Board.
The project area is situated 14 kilometres north of Sundarbans, a world heritage site.
UNESCO and local green activists and environmentalists have been opposing the project fearing that it will cause significant damage to the mangrove forest.