Dhaka activists protest against India-Bangladesh power plant

Dhaka, Aug 16 (IANS) Activists of Pragatishil Chhatra Jote, an alliance of Left-leaning student organisations in Bangladesh, on Tuesday blocked Dhaka roads to protest against a $1.5 billion power plant near Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest which straddles both Bangladesh and India.

The agitating students blocked Dhaka’s Shahbagh intersection, one of the major public transportation hubs in Dhaka, and staged demonstration for about one hour demanding cancellation of the Rampal Thermal Power Plant’s construction, Xinhua news agency reported.

Naima Khaled Monika, Pragatishil Chhatra Jote leader, said they will stage demonstrations across the country on August 18.

She urged the government not to go ahead with the proposed 1,320 MGW plant, to be built in Bagerhat district, about 180 km from Dhaka.

Protestors also brought out a procession on the Dhaka University campus and broke through police barricades.

Several persons were injured during a scuffle with the law enforcers while breaking through the barricades.

According to the protestors, discharge from the plant like fly ash and sulphur dioxide will have disastrous consequences for the fauna and flora of the mangrove forest — a Unesco World Heritage site.

Amid severe criticism from many power experts and green activists, the Bangladesh Power Development Board (PDB) and Indian National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in April 2013 signed three major agreements heading towards implementation of the plant.

Under the deals, the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company, a joint venture between the PDB and the NTPC with 50:50 share, will implement the project in which officials claim that super critical technology would be used to curb the much talked-about carbon emission.

–IANS

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