A joint Indo-Bangla forum today wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding that the proposed Rampal power plant in Bangladesh be scrapped due to its potential to cause "irreparable damage" to Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. The National Oil, Gas, Mineral Resource, Power and Port Protection Committee, which is spearheading the movement against the 1320 MW coal-based plant in Bangladesh, submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka. In New Delhi, a coalition of groups including the All India Union of Forest Working People and National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) wrote to the PM claiming that the project will adversely affect India as well. "40 per cent of the Sundarbans is in India and any damage to that will have devastating impact 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," it said. Addressing a press conference here, NAPM's Madhuresh Kumar alleged that activists in Bangladesh who are opposing the project are being "threatened". A 250-km 'Long March' was held in March against the plant, for which a deal was signed between the two countries in 2010. The power plant is located 14 kilometres upstream of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest, a world heritage site declared by UNESCO.
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