The High Court on Thursday directed the government not to allow any industrial unit to be set up within 10 kilometers of the Sundarbans mangrove forest.
The HC bench of Justice Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice JBM Hasan passed the order after primary hearing on a petition, reports UNB.
The court also asked the government to submit within six months a list of the industries already built within the designated range.
The site of the controversial proposed Rampal coal-based power plant is 14km outside the forest periphery.
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Construction work going on at the Rampal power plant project site near Sundarbans in Bagerhat. The photo was taken in September last year Dhaka Tribune
It also issued a rule seeking an explanation as to why the approval of industries and factories within 10km of the forest will not be in violation of the gazette notification of the Environment and Forest Ministry issued in 1999 and why they should not be removed.
The secretaries of the Environment Ministry, Industries Ministry, Land Ministry, director general of the Department of Environment, Deputy Commissioner of Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Barguna and police superintendent of Khulna were asked to respond to the rule.
President of Save the Sundarbans Foundation Sheikh Faridul Islam filed the writ on April 4.
According to the writ petition, the Environment and Forest Ministry issued the gazette notification on August 30, 1999 declaring the Sundarbans as a reserved area and its 10km area as an ecologically critical area but the Environment Department has reportedly issued clearance certificates to 150 industries in the area.