‘Conspiracy against Rampal power project, but it won’t affect Sundarbans’: Prime Minister

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Dhaka, August 27: Rampal power plant project would not affect Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest of the world, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has claimed on Saturday.

At the same time, she observed that there was a deep-rooted conspiracy behind BNP’s movement over Rampal Power Plant.

“A German firm has been given responsibility to ensure maximum standard of Rampal power plant project. We will not do any compromise,” she said.

The premier said this while briefing the media at her official residence Ganabhaban on the Rampal project close to the Sundarbans amid concerns over the coal-fired plant’s environmental impacts on the forest.

Sheikh Hasina told journalists that the government would remain careful in managing the Rampal coal-fired power plant project.PM speaking at press conference

The premier also said the emission of gas from the power plant would be less than the limit of World Health Organization (WHO).

The power plant site is about 14 kilometres away from the Sundarbans.

Environmental experts have warned that the Rampal project will cause substantial damage to the Sundarbans and its wildlife.

They say the project would harm the Unesco World Heritage site, as it would affect the climate, topography, land use pattern, wetlands, flora and faunal diversity and quality of air and water in the Sundarbans.

On July 12, the government signed an agreement with an Indian firm to set up the India-Bangladesh joint venture plant on the bank of the Pashur River.

The $1.49 billion plant is likely to start producing electricity in 2019. Seventy percent of the project cost would be covered by the Indian Exim Bank as a loan, and the rest by the governments of Bangladesh and India.