Half-day hartal called for Jan 26 protesting Rampal power plant

January 25 04:33 2017 Print This Article

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports has called a half-day hartal for January 26 in Dhaka, protesting the Rampal coal-fired power plant.

Professor Anu Mohammad, member secretary of the committee, made the announcement yesterday at Mukti Bhaban in the capital.

On November 26 last year the National Committee Member Secretary Prof Anu Mohammad called the general strike after the end of a mass rally announcing a seven-point programme including observing a half-day hartal on January 26 if their demands were not met.

He said: “We have been protesting for the last seven years to protect the Sundarbans but the government did not pay any heed to our demand. Now, we are forced to call the strike.”

“The hartal, which is going to be enforced from 6am to 2pm on the day, would be of a different type,” he added. “This hartal is not for destruction, but for creation.”

“The committee and the mass people will stage demonstration and protest countrywide on January 26,” he further said.

He said as the government is not paying any heed to our demand and goes on with its plan that will certainly destroy the Sundarbans we were compelled to go for the strike.

Anu Mohammad said: “It has been found in several researches that the project will be harmful for the nation. Had the government ever been concerned about the national interest, then they would have already stopped the project showing respect to the public sentiment.”

Stating that some 3.5 million people depend on the Sundarbans alone, he said: “If the world’s last remaining mangrove forest is destroyed, around 50 million people will be affected as there will be no natural protection for them.”

He alleged that the government was implementing the project to please the forigen investors.

The government is adamant to implementing the project, claiming that it would not harm the mangrove forest or the water species in the nearby Pashur River.

The national committee demandeed cancellation of the 1,320MW coal-fired power plant near the Sundarbans in Rampal of Bagerhat.

Apart from Bangladeshis at home and abroad, the Unesco and the Ramsar have also demanded that the project be shifted to any other location expressing concerns over the possible adverse impact on the Sundarbans World Heritage site.

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