Dhaka, July 10 (BDNews24): UNESCO has allowed the construction of the India-aided 1320 MW coal fired power plant at Rampal in the Sundabans reserve forest in Bangladesh, on the grounds that it is satisfied with the environment protection measures that will be taken by the Bangladesh government, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, the Energy Advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said here on Sunday.
India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is in a joint venture with a Bangladeshi public sector undertaking to build the plant at the edge of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest which is a world heritage site.
Representatives from Bangladesh were able to convince the international society about the technologically advanced measures the country planned to take while setting up the Rampal Power Plant in Bagerhat, Chowdhury said.
Environmental campaigners fear the thermal power plant, to be located 14 kilometres from the Sundarbans Reserve Forest, will cause irreversible damage to the biodiversity at the world heritage site.
The relocation of the Indo-Bangladesh project was among several recommendations made in a mission report by the World Heritage Centre and International Union for Conservation of Nature last year.
The World Heritage Committee gave Bangladesh until December, 2018 to meet all recommendations, including a strategic environmental assessment of the southwest region, before building the power plant.
“Bangladesh is working with environment-friendly and sustainable economic infrastructure and limited availability of land,” said Chowdhury.
“We are going to set up the Rampal plant using latest technology. We gave them that explanation. So they were convinced.”