• Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

BNP censures government over Rampal project

  • Published at 10:09 pm October 7th, 2013

Main opposition BNP on Monday claimed that the 1,320MW coal-based power plant in Rampal was initiated to serve the interest of a neighbouring country not Bangladesh and its people.

“The prime minister laid the foundation stone of Rampal power plant without conducting any survey and ignoring experts’ opinions because she can sacrifice the country’s independence and sovereignty for her own interests and to protect another country’s interest,” Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, the BNP joint secretary general, said at a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated work of the plant on Saturday, nearly two months after the Department of Environment approved the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment report. India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Company will build and operate the plant.   

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia while addressing mass rallies in Khulna and Sylhet also lambasted the government for the project. On Saturday in Sylhet she said: “We will not allow anyone to set-up the power plant in Rampal.” The BNP chief also extended her support to the National Committee that observed a long march last month against the project.

However, during the BNP rule in 2006, law enforcers opened fire on the protesters in Phulbari when they were agitating under the banner of the National Committee against an open-pit coal mining project. There people including a teenager were killed in the August 26 fire when over 200 injured. The Awami League chief then supported the demonstrators.

Before the party chief, BNP spoke on the project only a couple of times and never staged any demonstration protesting the move. In 2011, the party’s acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir asked the government not to implement the project near the Sundarbans. On September 5, Standing Committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan said the BNP would scrap the project if voted to power.

At another programme on Monday, Standing Committee member Rafiqul Islam Miah alleged that the government agreed on the project to get unconditional support from India to stay in office.

Addressing a discussion at Jatiya Press Club in the capital, he observed that the project would be suicidal for Bangladesh because the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world, would be destroyed and ecology of Bangladesh would be under threat.

He also criticised the government for not paying a heed to the concerns of the country’s environmentalists, scientists and people from cross sections of life.

The BNP leader also called upon the Indian citizens to mobilise mass support against the Rampal power plant project to protect the people of Bangladesh and the environment. 

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