Even the man-eating tigers that have prowled the forest for centuries would become victims if the project isn't scrapped or reconsidered. "No sane person in the world would agree to this project", says an engineer on the environmental committee. To demonstrate their staunch objection, "protesters are making a 400km march in a bid to draw greater attention to what's at stake", reported Time magazine this week.
There was a government-sponsored impact assessment, adds the article. But given the country's uninspiring record in environmental protection, sceptics and conservationists are right to shout, march, and try to make their voices heard to the public and decision makers.
Not so fast; this isn't about Mae Wong National Park. What's at stake in the above report is the planet's largest mangrove forest in the city of Rampal, Bangladesh, where the government is planning to build a 1,320MW coal-fired power plant. The forest, called Sundarbans - home to Bengali tigers and featured in the phantasmagoric sequence in the novel Midnight's Children - is one of the last green patches in that country. The government, however, insists that in order to provide electricity to this poor region, trees must be felled and the plant must be built.
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