'Rampal plant the final nail in the Sundarbans’ coffin'

A civic forum formed to protect the Sundarbans has said the Rampal power plant project will put the final nail in the coffin of the world's largest mangrove forest.

At a press conference at Dhaka Reporters' Unity on Saturday, the national committee's convenor, Sultana Kamal, also called on the government to stop implementation of the controvercial project near the forest.

She rejected the environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the Sundarbans made by a government body and said it is not accurate.

Sultana Kamal urged the government to conduct the EIA under the direct supervision of the United Nations.

The Sundarbans is a world heritage site declare by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Member secretary of the national committee and general secretary of the Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Abdul Matin, said, “The government doesn’t pay any heed to the call for saving the Sundarbans.

"It has rather approved the initiative (project) that threatens the environment of the Sundarbans.”

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) executive director Iftekharuzzaman said Bangladesh is one of the worst victims of the global climate change.

“Our prime minister tabled the issues of climate change to the global stage. But Bangladesh has been identified as threatening country to environment for its initiative of building such a harmful industry (power plant) near the Sundarbans.”

He, too, called upon the government to refrain from going ahead with such a damaging project.