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12/1/2014

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NTPCharmingBangladeshsSundarbans|DhakaTribune

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2014/apr/04/ntpcharmingbangladeshssundarbans

NTPCharmingBangladeshsSundarbans|DhakaTribune
AlthoughtheIndianstateagencyNTPChasbeenbarredfromconstructingpowerprojectstoprotectsmall
forestsandarablelandinitscountry,itisimplementingahugepowerplantatBagerhatsRampalwhichwould
harmtheBangladeshpartoftheSundarbans,aUnescoWorldHeritageSite,conservationistssaidyesterday.
AnIndiandelegationvisitedtheprojectareaonApril2andhasagainbeentryingtojustifytheprojectby
providingfalseinformation,apressstatementissuedbytheNationalCommitteeforProtectionofOilGasand
MineralResource,ElectricitySectorandPortssaid.
CommitteeConvenerSheikhMuhammadShahidullahandMemberSecretaryAnuMuhammadinthejoint
statementsaid:WeknowthattheIndianNationalGreenTribunalonMarch13suspendedtheenvironmental
clearancefortheNTPCspowerplantprojectinKarnataka.ThecourtsaidtheNTPCgavefalseandambiguous
informationabouttheprojectland,pollution,securedclearancebeforeformulatingguidelinesoncompensation
andrehabilitationandalsoignoredthelocalsopinions.
ThecommitteesaidirregularitiescentringtheRampalplantweremoreseverewhentheNTPC(National
ThermalPowerCorporation)alsoconcealedinformation.
CriticisingtheBangladeshgovernmentforimplementingthe1320MWcoalbasedpowerprojecthurriedly,the
committeeleadersurgedtheUnescototakeeffectivemeasuresagainstthescheme.
TheSundarbansmangroveforestactsasashieldforthemillionsofcoastalpeopleduringcyclones,theysaid
whileurgingthegovernmenttoshelvetheprojectasitwouldbedevastatingfortheforest.
TheplatformsaidanantiIndiasentimentwasalreadystronginBangladeshbecauseoftheneighbours
unilateraldecisionsontheFarakkaBarrage,sharingofTeestawaterandoverallenvironmentaldegradation.
IturgedtheIndiangovernmenttocanceltheprojectimmediatelyifyoudonotwantthesentimenttobecome
worse.
PrimeMinisterSheikhHasinainauguratedconstructionoftheplantinOctoberlastyear.
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