IT is well known that many experts in the country are against construction of Rampal Power Plant at Khulna. According to them the plant will have an adverse impact on the environment of Sundarbans. The Sundabans is a USESCO recognised site in Bangladesh and is among three UNESCO heritage sites. I had the opportunity to be associated with the construction of Chittagong Steel Mills under Japanese credit in 1963 when civil aviation authority raised objection about the chimney heights of 60 metres that would interfere with air traffic at Patenga airport and might lead to disasters. Subsequently the chimney height was reduced to 40 metres. The furnace oil was the fuel for Chittagong Steel Mills, while Rampal power plant is coal-fired and it is likely to produce sulphur dioxide in exhaust gases and the quantity of such gases will vary with the quantity of sulphur present in the coal to be imported and the daily consumption of coal is estimated to be 10,000 tons. We know from experience that before the introduction of CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel driven auto rickshaws in the market, diesel fuel was used in baby taxis and one can remember the huge emission of irritating exhaust gases at cross sections like Bangla Motor or Sonargaon Hotel or Moghbazar or Malibag.
Agreements have been singed with Russia to build Nuclear Power Plants at Rooppur, but we must remember that the nuclear disasters at Chernobyl, USSR and Fukushima, Japan. I read in school textbooks as a Madrasa student about the cyclone disasters in and around Khulna-Barisal areas in Bengali calendar year of 1325. The Sundarbans were affected badly at one end, but the other side of Sundarbans saved Khulna-Barisal areas from devastations. However, the environmental experts can make studies on the issue and guide the nation accordingly.
New Eskatan Road