The Rampal Coal Plant will release ashes which will cause a loss as much as $ 100 million each year. In 60 years, it will release up to 38 million tonnes of ashes and 18 million tonnes will be used. The rest will be thrown into a pond created for the purpose. But if floods occur in the area, and that is a flood prone area, the ashes will spread, causing severe damage to the environment, said US-based pollution specialist Dennis Lemly.
Lemly presented his research over Skype at the Dhaka Reporters Unity Auditorium organised by the National Committee for the Protection of the Sundarbans on Wednesday.
He said the ashes will contain arsenic, cadmium, chromium, led, mercury, selenium, thallium etc. which will harm the Sundarbans in the long run.
If the coal is imported from Indonesia, Australia and South Africa, this will produce 15 per cent ash, and if the coal is imported from India, it will produce 25-45 per cent ash. A pond will be created to contain the ash, but this will fill in six years. So the chances of overflow are high.
President of the national committee for the protection of the Sundarbans, Sultana Kamal, said the impact will not be visible. It will be a long-term damage.
Former professor of Zoology department at Dhaka University Abul Bashar said "The pollution from the ashes will spread down from generation to generation, and we will not be able to do anything about it."
Professor Abdul Aziz from Dhaka University Botany department said "No matter where we set up a coal plant in Bangladesh, it will harm us. We will simply have to check where the harm will be less."