Effect of Rampal power station on the bio diversity of sundarban

Staff Correspondent Desk
7 August 2019, Wed
Published: 10:35 Updated: 02:22

Effect of Rampal power station on the bio diversity of sundarban

The Bangladesh government Shekh Hasina thinks that uninterrupted supply of power is considered to be precondition for development without which present world can’t move forward.

Starting from agriculture to business, industrial production, office work, transportation, housing, human civilization, almost all the economic activities are now largely dependent on electricity.

However, it becomes a big challenge to synchronize the increasing demands of modern life and production of electricity in underdeveloped and developing countries. 

This issue is more crucial in the context of Bangladesh as it has been putting best efforts to become higher middle income country through achieving the vision 2021. 

For Bangladesh, generation of more power is highly required to keep pace with its growing demands.

So the prime minister Shekh Hasina considering the future energy security, emphasis has been given on coal based power generation in the Power System Master Plan (PSMP)-2010 of mega plan of power sector.

In among to construction of 1320 MW Mai-tree Super Thermal Power Plant at Rampal of Bagerhat district of Bangladesh is one of such initiatives.

But the main problem are sundarbans, lying on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal, straddles the India and Bangladesh borders. The mangroves are spread across 10,000 square km and of which 62 per cent is in Bangladesh. The mangroves buffer the low-lying country against storms and rising sea levels.

On the other hand The site for the plant is at Rampal in Khulna division in southwestern Bangladesh, a spot that is upstream of the reserve forest boundary, along the banks of the Pashur river that cuts through the Sundarbans and snakes its way into the Bay of Bengal.

And downstream to the plant site, where the Pashur meets the Mongla river, is the busy Mongla port, the second biggest seaport of the country. This is roughly 100 kms upstream of the Bay of Bengal.

This tidal river, an important navigation route is also the source of water and navigation access for the coal plant,that the so disappoint topic.

In 1999, a 10 km boundary around the periphery of the SRF was declared an ecologically critical area (ECA) under section 5 of the Conservation Act 1995 introduced by Bangladesh.

Conservationists as well as organisations such as the UNESCO have flagged concerns over the project planned four km from the boundary of the ECA and about 65 km from the closest boundary of the world heritage property.

Veteran Bangladeshi academic-activist Anu Muhammad said that environment laws and constitutional commitments have been (breached) to push ahead with the power plant despite (irregularities) in the project from the very beginning.

The project has already opened up doors for more harmful projects

The locals public said that the existing industries are solely responsible for depletion of fish and other natural resources, as well as increasing sedimentation in river as these units are continuously discharging the industrial waste, effluent and dry ash.

Based on a study carried out across 10 permanent stations at Rampal, Mongla and the Sundarbans, Chowdhury warned that the forest may lose its recognition as a world heritage site if industrialisation continues unabated.

Environmentalist  Mr. Chowdhury said that only electrification in the rural area and a few jobs along with localised business facilities will increase by establishing the industries and coal fired power plant. So environmentally, physically, socially and economically the periphery areas of the Sundarbans are not suitable to establish different types of industries including coal based power plants,

breakingnews/fas​