Prime Minister ( by force not by people’s choice) Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh has been announced as one of the winners of the United Nations’ highest environmental award namely the champions of the earth.
cerns. She badly needs one international recognition of any flavour and this award will provide her some political leverage or advantage at the cost of world wide movement for environmental concerns.
So it has come as a surprise to the environmental activists who are fighting for the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a UNESCO world’s heritage site which is under threat for a coal based power plant set up by the government led by Sheikh Hasina. She has permitted to set up this power plant against world wide environmental concern. It is going to be built within 14 km of the forest, more precisely just 9km away from many reserved sections of the forest.
The environmental experts had repeatedly expressed their great concerns about devastating and irreversible impact on the Sundarbans, its ecology and biodiversity.
For establishing this 1320 Megawatt power plant, Bangladesh will need to import about 4.72 million tons of coal each year. This massive freight will need about 59 ships each having an 80,000 ton capacity that take to the port which is 40 Kilometers away from the plant and its route cuts through the Sundarbans.
The scale of environmental and social impact will be beyond all imagination and calculation. The death of Sundarbans will bring the death of this country with 160 million population already under threat by global warming. It has stirred the local dwellers and environmental activists to stop this dangerous project. Many organisations, political parties and national leaders have spoken against the Rampal plant.
The message was clear – “There are many alternatives to generate power, but Sundarbans has no alternative.
So a killer of Sundarban should not be the ‘Champion of the Earth’ which should be reserved only for someone who works for the protection of the environment.