The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world (140,000 ha), lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal. It is adjacent to the border of India’s Sundarbans World Heritage site inscribed in 1987. The site is intersected by a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests, and presents an excellent example of ongoing ecological processes. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, including 260 bird species, the Royal Bengal tiger and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.
A memorandum jointly signed by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and India contained proposal of power generation plant near the Sunderbans in Rampal, The treaty proposes to establish two 660 megawatt units power plants in Rampal to produce 1,320 megawatt power. In the background, the land in Rampal was allocated by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheik Hasina on 27 December, 2010 without assessing any environmental aspects and threats.
The proposed spot for the plant is only 7.5 mile (13 kilometres) away from the Sundarbans mangrove forest, wildlife species and Sundarban itself is in danger due to the proposed electric plant.
<>4.72 million tonnes of coal will be burnt to produce the estimated 1,320 megawatt of electricity at the proposed Rampal power plant. A tonne of burnt coal will produce 2.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide. at least 7.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide will be produced from the plant, which is too highly risky and environmentally threatening.
<>Air pollution from coal-fired power plants includes Sulfur dioxide, Nitrogen oxides, Particulate Matter (PM), and heavy metals, leading to smog, acid rain, toxins in the environment, and numerous respiratory, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular effects.
<>Global coal fire emissions are estimated to include 40 tons of mercury going into the atmosphere annually, and three percent of the world's annual carbon dioxide emissions. Emissions from coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury.
<>Coal is often transported via trucks, railroads, and large cargo ships, which release air pollution such as soot and can lead to disasters that ruin the environment, such as the Shen Neng 1 coal carrier collision with the Great Barrier Reef, Australia that occurred in April 2010.
<>Power generation has been estimated to be second only to agriculture in being the largest domestic user of water. Water pollution from coal includes the negative health and environmental effects from the mining, processing, burning, and waste storage of coal. A typical coal plant with a once-through cooling system withdraws between 70 and 180 billion gallons of water per year and consumes 0.36 to 1.1 billion gallons of that water.
<>Particulate matter (also referred to as soot or fly ash) can cause chronic bronchitis, aggravated asthma, and premature death, as well as haze obstructing visibility. A typical uncontrolled plan emits 500 tons of small airborne particles each year. Waste created by a typical coal plant includes more than 125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge from the smokestack scrubber each year.
Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage Article 5 declares
To ensure that effective and active measures are taken for the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage situated on its territory, each State Party to this Convention shall endeavor, in so far as possible, and as appropriate for each country:
<>to adopt a general policy which aims to give the cultural and natural heritage a function in the life of the community and to integrate the protection of that heritage into comprehensive planning programmes;
<>to take the appropriate legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the identification, protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation of this heritage; and
<>to foster the establishment or development of national or regional centres for training in the protection, conservation and presentation of the cultural and natural heritage and to encourage scientific research in this field.
Reasons for signing
There can never be sustainability with coal-fired power plants in Rampal. There are potential danger from rain and discharge with particulate matters, coal fines, obnoxious and acidic smoke from the smokestack of a coal-fired power plant in surrounding area of Sundorbon. Plants, trees and wildlife will be affected due to wilting and searing of the leaves when hit by acid mists from the coal-fired power plant. Chronic cough and obstructive respiratory diseases will experience during periods when the pollution from the coal-fired power plant falls toward housing areas. Drinking wells, canal waters and coastal waters will contaminated by heavy metals of Lead, Cadmium, Hexavalent chromium and Mercury in levels beyond the allowable levels set by the WHO. These heavy metals are naturally present in coal and coal ash; moreover there are possibilities to dispose them surrounding Sundorbon and local town for filling some of low-lying and flood-prone areas, in where so many fishing farm producing export quality seafood. Therefore, we opposed, get ourselves informed and educate the people in our communities, get ourselves united and we will able to stop the Rampal coal-fired power plant.
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