Unesco’s nod to Rampal came with 12 countries’ consent: Tawfiq

09 Jul,2017

Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Sunday said Unesco has given its nod to Rampal coal-fired power plant near the Sundarbans after getting consent from 12 countries without vote in this regard.

The UN organisation has also moved away from its previous direction of halting the project work requesting the government to start the project work only after environmental assessments, he told a press briefing at Bidyut Bhaban in the capital.

He, however, said Unesco gave the government some conditions to fulfill those for constructing power plant. “The achievement finally came under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” the adviser said.

The Energy Ministry arranged the press briefing to clearly communicate the Unesco decision and also the government’s measures for protecting the Sundarbans.

Earlier on Thursday, a Foreign Ministry statement claimed that the World Heritage Committee of Unesco has withdrawn its earlier objection over the construction of Rampal power plant project at its current location.

The decision was made at the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee being held in Krakow, Poland, the Foreign Ministry added.

A high-level inter-ministerial delegation, led by adviser to the Prime Pinister on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, took part in the meeting to defend Bangladesh's position.

But following the statement, National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas, Mineral Resources, and Power-Port rejected the Foreign Ministry’s claim and reacted sharply and announced a fresh action programme reiterating its call to roll back the Rampal power project.

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