TIB worries about power plant in forest vicinity

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Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has expressed deep concern over the initiative of setting up a coal-fired power plant at Tengragiri reserve forest in Barguna and Power Development Board’s (PDB) signing a power purchase agreement (PPA)  with the construction firm without any clearance from Department of Environment (DoE).

In a statement issued on Monday TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman referred to media reports that a local firm ISOTECH and two other foreign organizations are setting up a coal based 307 megawatt power plant within a kilometre of Tengragiri forest without DoE clearance, reports the UNB.

PDB has already signed a 25-year long PPA to buy power from this plant, he added.

Mentioning that the coal plant move was taken in violation of the section 7 (4) of Environment Conservation Act, 1997, TIB executive director said, according to the environment law it is forbidden to set up any industrial unit within 10 kilometres of reserve forest. He said taking up of such an initiative with the participation of government organization is a matter of grave concern for the country.

Claiming the initiative risky for nature and lives, Dr Iftekharuzzaman urged the government to cancel such destructive initiative as soon as possible and take necessary actions in this regard.

Tengragiri, known as the second Sundarbans of the country, was declared as a sanctuary of wild animals by the Environment and Forest Ministry in October, 2010. The forest was once a part of the Sundarbans and was declared as a reserved forest area in 1960. The forest has around 40 animal species and different kinds of plants.

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