National Committee for Saving the Sundarbans (NCSS) President Sultana Kamal today said that the government’s decision to establish a coal-fired power plant at Rampal is contrary to country’s constitution.
“People are the owners of all assets of the state. The government is constitutionally bound to seek people’s opinion but it didn’t do that before approving the Rampal project. It makes the project anti-constitutional and illegal as it will push Sundarbans towards destruction,” she said.
Eminent environmentalist and rights activist made the remarks at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club arranged by NCSS on preserving Sundarbans as a world heritage site.
The press conference was organised at National Press Club following a recent declaration of Unesco, mentioning that the world’s largest mangrove forest as a world heritage "in danger".
"It is a matter of shame that Unesco has listed the Sundarbans in danger list. It might lose its status as a world heritage site in the World Heritage Committee’s 43rd meeting scheduled to start from June 30 in Azerbaijan,” said Sultana Kamal, also the Vice-president of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA).
Mentioning that approving mega projects surrounding the Sundarbans is a sign of incompetence of the government, she said, adding that "If the Sundarbans is destroyed, its liability will go upon the prime minister as well as on us, too, as a nation.”
She urged the government to immediately cancel the Rampal Power Plant project and take stern actions for preserving Sundarbans and its wildlife.
“Sundarbans is a national treasure. Nothing will be more saddening and insulting for us if we fail to protect it,” Sultana Kamal further said.