South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR) conducted a fact finding mission to Rampal, Bangladesh on the establishment of a coal based power plant in April 2015. The mission was conducted by Dr. Harun Chowdhury and Sharif Jamil from Bangladesh. External expertise was given by Nityanand Jayaraman and Sagar Dhara from India.
The objective of the mission was to evaluate the impact of the power plant on the livelihoods of the people and the ecology of the region, examine the legal framework governing its establishment and assess if the proposed plant violates any laws, policies and guidelines that protect the Sundarbans, a world heritage site, surrounding the power plant.
The report highlights that the multifaceted costs to the local people and the irreversible damage to the fragile ecosystem and bio diversity have not been prioritised when proposing the project, while acknowledging the significant benefits from the construction of the power plant, including electricity production, infrastructure development and employment. The report details the key human rights concerns and the government response and critiques the environmental impact assessment conducted by the government and the track record of the National Thermal Power Corporation of India in similar projects.
The full report can be accessed at http://www.southasianrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Report-of-the-FFM-Rampa-Bangladesh.pdf.