Stop Rampal Power Plant-Save Sundarbans

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The Government of Bangladesh has planned to establish a 1320 megawatt coal based Thermal power plant in Rampal which is situated in Bagerhat district of Khulna. The State owned NTPC of India and BPDB of Bangladesh have jointly developing this project. This will be the largest power plant of that country and covers an area of 1834 acre. Bangladesh is a power deficit country, thus its Government thinks if such a project can be established with technical, main resource like coal and funding support of its nearest and biggest country of South East Asia, i.e. India, it will be cheaper and hugely beneficial for them. Moreover they have also planned to transport the coal which will be required for the project through the water ways cutting through the Sundarbans. The Export Import (EXIM) Bank of India is the main funding agency of this turnkey project and already signed a MoU to invest Rs.1.6 Billion USD in this regard.

Unfortunately the location they have selected is only 14km from the northern most part of the Subdarbans, the world's largest mangroves which also contains the UNESCO world heritage site and home to amazing floral and faunal resources including the fantastic Royal Bengal Tiger. Infact the distance between the power plant and the World Heritage Site is only 65 km through the Sundarbans.

The Sundarbans is not only a magnificent forest, estuarine and mangrove ecosystem but it also supports the main coastal economy of fisheries by its nutrient rich out welling but also protect the hinterland from storm surges and waves of seas. Infact the existence of a coastal state like Bangladesh and parts of West Bengal of India is critically hinged on the health and well being of the Sundarbans.

But this beautiful forest is now critically threatened. The rivers will be dredged to create navigation channels for coal carrying heavy containers. It will create such a huge turbidity and chemical pollution in the estuary that the main energy supplying foodchain with its plethora of micro and macro flora and fauna will be annihilated. The fly ash and mercury pollution will spread and toxicity which will be created  will either smother the waters or mudflats but also mercury may bioaccumulate through food chain affecting every living things depending on the food chain including the local population. With the energy supplying food chain affected the mangrove with its amazing resilience capacity will start dying. The hot and chemical rich boiler water which shall be released in the estuarine water will make things much more worse. The smoke stacks of the power plant at what ever height it may remain, belch out huge amount of flue gas which will increase the level of oxides of sulphur, in the air much above the permissible level. All these acting together will not only cause the death of this magnificent ecosystem but the life and economy of the whole region will be destroyed. Moreover the existence of the Bangladesh and part of West Bengal will be heavily threatened.

The UNESCO has already has voiced their objections for this projects.

Friends this is now all in your hands. Tell Bangladesh and Indian Government that yes we want development but the Sundarbans is too very costly and unaffordable price to pay. Ask them to change the site.

Ask the EXIM Bank of India to stop funding for this project unless the site is changed.

Ask UNESCO to be more strict on their decisions and ruling in this regard.

Sign the petition, Save Sundarbans, its people and the Royal Bengal Tiger. Only you can do it.

 



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