The Power Development Board's (PDB) move to allow setting up of a 307- MW coal-fired power plant near Tengragiri reserve forest in Barguna evokes concern among the green activists and rights bodies.
Recently, PDB signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with a private company under which the company will set up a 307-MW power plant at Tengragiri. Rights bodies said as the power plant will be set up within one kilometre of the forest, which is dubbed as the second Sundarbans of the country, it will bring disaster to the eco-system and bio-diversity of the area.
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) said on Monday that PDB signed the agreement for the power plant without getting proper clearance from the environment department.
According to the Forest Preservation Act, 1997, conducting environmental impact assessment (EIA) before constructing such power plant is a must. But in this case, PDB signed the agreement without doing the job which is a clear violation of the law of the land.
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said the very existence of these reserve forests will be under severe threat if power plants are constructed in this area.
Referring to a plan now underway to set up more power plants in the same area, 'The PDB claims they got positional clearance certificate from the DoE, but the latter dismisses such claim. This contradictory stance by two agencies proves that the entire project is being carried out in a non- transparent manner', Dr Iftekher said.
Forest of Tengragiri constitutes 5,661 of hectares of land. There are two patches of reserved forest in the park, one is Kua-Kata and another one is Tengragiri. This is a mangrove forest. The vegetation and animal kingdom which are available in this park are Keora, Gewa, Bean, Sundari, Kankra, Goran, Hental etc. and boar, deer, monkeys, etc. There is availability of domestic birds like korali, duck, Bali, bonbok seagull etc. in this park
This Forest of Tengragiri (Fatrabon Eco Park) is located 71 kilometres away from the Kolapara Upazila at the extreme southern part of the country. Tengragiri Forest Office is in Taltali Upazila of Barguna district.
Last month PDB signed a PPA with ISO Tech under which the private company would supply power to PDB from the Tengragiri plant. ISO Tech is going to construct the plant in collaboration with two foreign companies.
Several rights activists urged the government to scrap the project.
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