Following the ongoing human rights violation of the National Committee activists and front-line organisers against Rampal coal-fired plant in Bangladesh, many concerned Indian green and human rights organisations have written an open letter to the Prime Minister of India to withdraw support from the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company, thereafter the destructive Rampal Power Project. The letter signed by 43 organisations and many activists is as follows.
October 18, 2016
An Open Letter to the Prime Minister on Rampal Power Project
Respected Prime Minister,
We, the people’s movements and other civil society organisations in India, draw your urgent attention to the serious issues emerging from the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company (Rampal Power Project), being built near the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sundarbans in Bangladesh.
This project is opposed by people in Bangladesh and India for its monumental social and environmental negative impacts, particularly the irreversible damage to Sundarbans and the fragile ecosystem around it.
40% of the Sundarbans is in India and any damage to that will have devastating impacts on thousands of fishworkers and forest dwellers depending on it, apart from the damage to the natural protection from natural calamities like tsunami and cyclones.
The project is partly owned by NTPC, financed by Indian ExIm Bank, equipment’s supplied by BHEL and PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Limited, India contracted for long term coal sourcing. Hence India’s share in this project is significant.
People in Bangladesh, under the umbrella of National Oil, Gas, Mineral Resource, Power and Port Protection Committee, have been opposing the project with support of movements from different parts, including India. Leader of the National Committee Prof Anu Muhammad has been receiving death threats for the role he is playing for opposing the project.
While we condemn univocally death threats to Prof Anu Muhammad, we would urge you to request the Bangladesh government to ensure the safety of political activists there.
Further, we urge you to look at the colossal damage this project is causing to people and environment in India and Bangladesh and withdraw India’s support to the project.
Ashok Chowdhury & Roma Malik, All India Union of Forest Working People
Madhuresh Kumar, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
Narmada Bachao Andolan
Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
National Hawker Federation
Abhijit, Lokayat, Pune
Afsar Jafri, Focus on the Global South
All India Forum of Forest Movements
Ashok Shrimali – Secretary General of mm&P
Ayesha DSouza, Centre for Financial Accountability
Bharat Patel, Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan
Environment Support Group – Trust, Bangalore
Gautam Bandyopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha
Gururaja Budhya, Urban Research Centre, Bangalore, India.
Himanshu Damle, Public Finance Public Accountability Collective (PFPAC)
Himanshu Thakkar. South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People. Delhi
Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
Jiten Yumnam, Secretary, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Manipur
Kiran Shaheen, Aql ki Dhaba,
Krishnakant, Mithi Virdi
Maglin Peter, Teeradesa Mahila Vedi
Mahan Sangarsh Samiti
Manipur Cycle Club
Manshi Asher, Himdhara Collective, Himachal Pradesh
Muthukrishnan, writer / Activist Madurai
North East Peoples Alliance
Priya Pillai, Greenpeace India
PT George, Intercultural Resources.
Ravi Rebbapragada, Executive Director, Samata India
Samir Mehta, International Rivers South Asia
Shripad Dharmadhikary, Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Pune/Badwani
Shweta Tripatji, Society for Rural Urban & Tribal Initiative (SRUTI)
Sundarrajan, Sundarrajan, Poovulagin Nanbargal, KKNPP
Tarini Manchanda, filmmaker
The Research Collective
Umesh Babu, Delhi Forum
Vaishali Patil, Forum Against Disastorous Project in Konkan.
Vijay Pratap, South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy (SADED)
Vimalbhai, Matu Jansangthan
Xavier Dias, Khan Kaneej Aur Adhirkar