The govts of Bangladesh & India have started officially the work of Rampal power plant by holding the first-ever meeting of the joint venture company in Dhaka. The Bangladesh govt seems to be pleased to show India that it can keep its words.
The Daily Star has again done the job of a mouthpiece of the govt’s power&energy ministry — under the PM and advisor Tawfique-e-Elahi — by publishing the report on Rampal power plant near the Sundarbans with many quotes of the officials defending their modern technology which will not cause any major harm to the mangrove forest and Poshur River, claiming (lie) that the feasibility study is complete (due in late March) and by not giving a single word about the green groups and individuals protesting the plan which has been underway in the light of Hasina’s 2010 India tour.
The Daily Star will never publish that the project site was choosen by diplomats of the two countries (proposed by BD) considering coal-transport cost through Mongla port; it won’t mention that the govt (gangs of Rampal MP) has acquired over 1800 acres forcibly and defying HC order; that the DoE clearance for the location was managed by putting pressure on its director; and that the draft EIA & draft feasibility study were incomplete; and the equation of company share is ambiguous…
As the largest English daily and claiming “people’s right to know” as its slogan, The Daily Star should have acted responsibly.
The largest and most popular Bangla newspaper Prothom-alo today will publish the event story indeed the same way.
These two media houses, under Transcom umbrella, are always soft towards the govt on the energy&power issues — Phulbari&Asia Energy, loadshedding and gas sector. They also favour the International Oil Companies. There are many other pro-government journalists and duty editors who are violating grossly the codes and norms a journalist should have upheld.
Two days back, I saw a good news on Bangladesh Protidin that published in details about a high-power meeting of the two countries that the proposed Indian venture in Anwara of Chittagong, also a 1320MW coal-run power plant has been scrapped in line with the HC order on a petition filed by green groups.
The number of petitions filed over the Rampal plant is three and the hearings kept pending by the respected judges allegedly upon pressure through the pro-Awami League attorney general — the state’s highest legal official.
Bangladesh power secretary, mentioning he had been the DoE DG, claimed that the plant will emit minimum waste reportedly because of “supercritical technology”!
I oppose the whole process and demand shifting the plant to somewhere else where there are barren lands and few people.
The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Power, Port and Minerals has announced a Long March to Rampal for Mar 9-11. The organisations filed the peitions and citizens concerned will join the campaign to compell the govt change its suicidal plan.