A high profile government delegation Tuesday went to the Unesco headquarters in Paris, France on a four-day official visit in a bid to convince the UN body to favour the proposed 1,320MW coal-based Rampal power plant near the Sundarbans.
The six-member delegation led by Raisul Alam Mondal, director general of the Department of Environment, will hold meetings with the high-ups of Unesco which recently asked the government to relocate the project site to somewhere else.
Power Cell Director Md Abdur Rauf Mia told the Dhaka Tribune that the team would try its level best to make understand the UN organisation from logical grounds that if the power plant was constructed near the Sundarbans, a World Heritage site declared by the Unesco, it would not make any negative impact on the largest mangrove forest of the world.
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Moreover, the delegation would urge the Unesco not to place the Sundarbans issue or not to declare the Sundarbans as a hazardous site in the upcoming 41st conference of the UN wing.
Other members of the team include Mongla Port Authority Chairman Rear Admiral Reazuddin Ahmed, Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain, DoE Director Dr Sultan Ahmed, Khulna Divisional Forest Conservator Zahir Uddin Ahmed and Centre for Environmental and Geographic Information Services (CEGIS) Deputy Director Malik Fida Abdullah Khan.
The delegation team is scheduled to return home on October 28.
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Construction of the power plant, located about 14km from the Sundarbans, began in October 2013. It is being implemented by a joint venture of Bangladesh Power Development Board and the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited of India under the name of Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company.