The coal-fired power plant of Rampal, which is currently under construction will produce enough ashes that will be required to be stored in a pond at the plant site. This kind of ash reservoir in the plant site is prone to spread and pollute the adjacent Sundarbans with Mercury, which may cause a serious threat to the biodiversity of the Sundarbans area.
The National Committee to Protect the Sundarbans (NCPS) along with some other environmentalist organizations have jointly brought a new study report on the possible Mercury threat to the Sundarbans due to the Rampal power plant at a press conference held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity on Saturday.
The research report was prepared by Professor Charles T Driscoll from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University, New York. The title of the research was- ‘Emissions, Atmospheric Deposition and Ecological Effects of Mercury, including Emissions from the Rampal, Bangladesh and Effects on the Sundarbans Forest Bio-geographic Zone’. Prof Badrul Imam from the Geology dept. of the University of Dhaka presented the study report before the media.
NCPS Convenor Sultana Kamal, Member Secretary Abdul Matin, Doctors for Health and Environment President Nazmun Nahar, and Dhaka University economics department Professor M M Akash were also present at the press conference.
The report says that, the Rampal power plant won’t have much protection against the disposal of mercury to the environment. As a result, the adjacent area poses a great threat to mercury contamination which may result in a damage to the fauna and flora of the adjacent area including human. Mercury contamination will force the microorganisms to absorb it, which will lead to further spreading in other complex and bigger organisms like fishes and trees that hold a higher position of the food chain. Animals, trees, fishes and ultimately humans living in the adjacent area will be affected by mercury.
Prof Driscoll prepared the report after analyzing tender documents of the Rampal power plant and various geographic and meteorological data of the Rampal and the adjacent areas accumulated throughout a year-long time.