The UNESCO has given some conditions to Dhaka for implementing Rampal power plant project in the vicinity of the Sundarbans, to protect the world heritage site, a state minister claimed on Friday.
Issuing a press release, the foreign ministry on Thursday said the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO had withdrawn its earlier objection to construction of the coal-based power plant near the Sundarbans, a project that triggered widespread criticism and protests at home and abroad.
However, no official statement on the actual latest position of the global body with regard to claims of withdrawal of objection to Rampal plant was available as yet.
Talking to journalists at his Gulshan residence on Friday, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said the government of Bangladesh has accepted the conditions from UNESCO to protect the forest.
“The power plant can be constructed where it is being constructed at present (at its current site),” he said.
The state minister added: “Some conditions have been put forward, from the UNESCO side, to ensure that the forest is protected. The government has accepted the conditions and we have assured them that we’ll comply with the conditions.”
A Bangladesh delegation briefed the UNESCO about the Rampal power plant in the 41st session of the World Heritage Committee in Krakow, Poland on Wednesday.
“The delegation has been able to persuade (UNESCO) that Rampal power plant is being constructed giving the highest priority to protection of environment. There won’t be any negative impact of the plant on the Sundarbans,” the state minister said.
The foreign ministry press release earlier also claimed that the UNESCO has spared the Sundarbans from being relegated to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
The UNESCO’s site has said nothing new about whether the Sundarbans would be dropped from the heritage site or not.