Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday allayed environmental concerns over the coal- fired power plant to be set up jointly with India near the Sundarbans and warned opposition BNP that attempts to create anarchy on the issue will be scuttled with an “iron hand”. “Let me tell you one thing, I would have been the first person to oppose the power plant had there been a slightest chance of damage of the Sundarbans,” she told a press conference.
Hasina issued a stern warning against attempts to create anarchy by “making a non-issue an issue”, saying “we will not hesitate to control it with an iron hand”. Bangladesh and India last month signed the landmark deal, paving the way for launching the construction work for the coal-fired plant, marking the transition in cooperation from electricity export to generation-level.
Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Pvt) Limited (BIFPCL), a joint venture enterprise, inked the deal with state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel), which was selected under an open international tender for constructing the “ultra-super critical thermal plant” in Bangladesh’s southwestern Rampal near the Sundarbans.
India’s Exim Bank would finance the $1.49 billion project, which is scheduled to start generating power in 2019. Bangladesh will share 50 per cent of the profit with India while the produced electricity would be used entirely by Bangladesh. Hasina said the proposed plant would be a “ultra-super critical plant” having “all available ultra modern technology to prevent pollution”.