From the last decades, theworld is becoming more dependent on power .Those who ensuring the productionand uses of power more successfully are becoming developed rapidly .As adigital country Bangladesh is trying to keep pace with the rest of the world.Toovercome the shortage of electricity,The Bangladesh government had decided toestablish a 1,320-megawatt coalfired power plant at the mouth of the Sundarbansunder Rampal upazila of Bagerhat  besidethe Poshur River.

The Bangladesh government signed a joint venture agreement..Thoughliterally it will produce electricity for our betterment,but it has a greateffect on environment.  The Sundarban is spread intoBangladesh and India,but freshwater reaching the mangroves has beenconsiderably reduced since the 1970s due to diversion of freshwater in theupstream area by India through the use of the Farakka Barrage borderingRajshahi, Bangladesh.Rivers in the Sundarban are meeting places of saltwaterand freshwater.

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Thus,it is a region of transition between the freshwater of therivers originating from the Ganges and the saline water of the Bay of Bengal.The power plant’s proposed location is on the bankof Passur River, which is one of the only two rivers that bring fresh water tothe Sundarbans. Any change in Passur River’s quality might be extremely harmfulfor the entire ecosystem.The Government had acquired 1,834 acres of agricultureland in SatmariKatakhali and Koigordashkathi areas of Lubachhora under Rampalupazila to establish the power plant.Only 86 acres lands are kash land and restof the lands are public lands which are using for rice and fish cultivations bythe land owners. The Bangladesh government has decided to bring in coal throughthe Mongla sea port. India’s National Thermal Power Company and BangladeshPower Development Board are the two signatories of the project…  The Sundarbans area isoccupied by recent alluvium laid down by the Ganga and its  tributaries. The top saline water bearingaquifers are generally separated from the underlying fresh water group ofaquifers by a thick impermeable clay layer.

The fresh ground water occurs underconfined condition, where piezometric surfaces lie between 0.50-2.00 m belowmsl and hydraulic gradient tends towards sea. Water level trends reflect adownward in nature. Studies confirmed that the water quality of Sundarbanscoastal area on average is deteriorating continuously. There are numerouscauses including increasing numbers of industries in the neighboring region,uncontrolled deforestation, and global climate change, which are responsiblefor deteriorating thewater quality of this large and diverse forest. In naturalsystems, water always flows from upstream to downstream and it is veryimportant to maintain this flow in order to retain a good ecological balance.The main reasons for the shortage of fresh water flow in the rivers arediversion (building Farakka barrage) of upstream water by the neighboringcountry, India, lacking of proper dazing of the rivers beds, and planning ofunwanted structures on the bank of the rivers.

The adverse impact ofindustrialization is reflected by the value obtained for the various waterquality parameters in this study. There are large quantities of untreatedsewage present in the Khulna and Bagherhatmunicipalities, which are responsiblefor contributing pollution to the Bhairab-Rupsha-Passur river system. As theSundarbans area spread over in both Bangladesh and India, the policy plannersof both countries should come forward with urgent strategies to protect thismangrove forest from the impending danger of severe pollution.  The ground water and that ofthe Poshur would also be polluted by the huge amount of waste produced due toburning of the coal.

Whereas the existence of strict laws to protect theenvironment and the wildlife, the government has recently decided to declare apart of Poshur and Andharmanik rivers sanctuaries for dolphins. The liquidwaste or sludge contains hazardous arsenic, mercury, cadmium and chromium.  As debates heat up, itbecame clear the Rampal project will have far-reaching impacts on theSundarbans. Even if much of what the project authorities say holds true, theimpact will still be there, will accumulate over years and cause someirreversible changes to the forest ecosystem. The effect cannot be felt in afew years, but over a longer time span, the worse will come. We have not evenmeasured ecosystem services from the forest – all the benefits, which most ofus take for granted, we get from the animals and plants. The forest isessential not just for the sake of beauty or biodiversity but also forsustainable livelihood of the people. Industrialisation is a sure way toimprove life but not often sustainably.

Some places in the world are not for industrializationbut for other kinds of use like ecotourism. The Sundarbans is one such placewhere industrialization is an assuredly suicidal way of development.


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