10 April 2016, Nirapad News: Taking a swipe at those protesting the government’s move to construct coal-based power plants, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said some people have a bizarre imagination about coal and coal-based power plants which have already led to the loss of a few lives.
“Some people of this country have some bizarre imaginations…I don’t know how this crosses their minds, but some lives have been lost unnecessarily for such imaginary talks…I’ve no idea what’s the motive behind this,” she said pointing to a recent incident taken place in Banshkhali, Chittagong that left 4 people dead.
The Prime Minister said this while inaugurating the newly-constructed Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj, on the outskirts of the capital with better facilities for inmates.
She said a section of people these days come up to protest in the name of protecting the environment while the government wants to produce more electricity through constructing power plants. “You’ve already seen that this section of people won’t allow to construct coal-based power plants [in the country].”
Hasina said the government has brought a relief in public life by producing enough electricity at the quickest possible time. “Now there’s a move to resist that production. But, this power production is needed for our development.”
During the Awami League government’s first tenure (1996-2001), she mentioned, it laid the foundation of coal-based power plants in Dinajpur and there are now two coal-based power plants there. “The construction works for the third one is going on there.”
The Prime Minister also mentioned that there has been no adverse effect on the environment in that area, as paddy, trees are growing naturally while people are living their normal life.
Referring to the recent capsize of a coal-laden cargo vessel in a river of the country that triggered huge outcry over water pollution, the Prime Minister wondered she is not sure how much this is true scientifically.
During her childhood, Hasina recalled, there was a water filter at their home and the first layer of that filter was filled with coal. “We used to pour water into that coal-filled layer first, then the water used to go through the sand-filled layer and after that we used to take that filtered water. We know coal also purify water. Still, such water filter is available in rural areas,” she said.
If the coal-filled filter can purify drinking water, then how the submerged coal will pollute the river water, the Prime Minister questioned adding some people say there will be acid rain if there is a coal-based power plant. “What an imaginary thinking this is!” she quipped.
Hasina said there are coal-based power plants around the world, including Oxford.
She mentioned that the ash comes from coal-based power plants are used in the cement factories.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Home Affairs secretary Dr Md Mozammel Haque Khan and Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Syed Iftekhar Uddin also spoke at the programme.