In 2016, the government of Bangladesh set out to create a coal-fired power plant in Rampal, an area in Bangladesh near the Sundarbans, the world’s largest grove of mangroves. The project was jointly backed by state-run power companies of Bangladesh and India. The project raised much criticism due to concerns about the possibility of the coal plant causing large amounts of ecological damage to the Sundarbans.
Bangladesh is the eighth-most populous country in the world, and lies east of India. The country is extremely famous for the Sundarbans, an area on the southern coast of Bangladesh bordering eastern India. The area is a national park and world heritage site, as well as a preserve for bengal tigers. Additionally, mangroves, the main type of tree found in the Sundarbans, are an extremely important plant ecologically, as their roots help bind soil and reduce coastal erosion.
The proposed coal plant in Rampal raised much public outcry, mainly focused on critiques of the EIA (environmental impact assessment) conducted by the ministry of energy. Critics argued that the proper laws governing how an EIA should be conducted were not followed. Despite concern about the proximity to the Sundarbans, the government did not consider alternative sites for the plant. Not only did the EIA ignore environmental concerns, but it did not take local people’s concerns into consideration.