The government has spent about Tk 37.46 billion (Tk 3746crore) till January, 2019 for construction of 1320MW Maitree Super Thermal Power Project, popularly known as Rampal power plant, near the Sundarbans. The project achieved about 29.37 per cent physical progress until the date.
The amount is about 23 percent of the total expenditure of Tk 160 billion (Tk 16000 crore) for one of the country’s top priority based fast track project jointly being implemented by Bangladesh and India.The first unit of the project will come into commission in February 2021 and the second one in August of the same year.
According to official sources, the initial infrastructure works of the project has already been completed. Besides, the test pilling works of major areas have also been completed along with trial and testing.
Construction of water system and power commissioning for implementing the power project have also been completed while construction of road and drainage systems are in progress.
The power plant authorities is now constructing the unit-1 boiler and cooling station for implementing the project in 2021.
Meanwhile, the Rampal coal-based plant authorities have sought 2-3 years VISA for foreign experts instead of current practice of one year for gearing up the power plant construction work.
The government is implementing the power plant with Tk 128 billion (12,800 crore) loan out of Tk 160 billion (16,000 crore) project expenditure, said an official concerned.He added that the financial progress of the project is about 22.80 percent. “We have so far spent Tk 3647 crore till January,” the official said on the condition of anonymity. Besides, the physical progress of the project is 29.37 per cent, he added.
Local and international environmentalists raised their voice against implementation of the project because of its closeness to the Sundarbans. According to them, the project will hamper ecological imbalance at Sundarbans, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The government, however, said that they did everything to protect the Sundarbans from any adverse impact due to implementation of the project.