Ansar Ahmed Ullah:
A global online meeting of the ‘National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas and mineral Resources in Bangladesh’ (NCBD) was held on the 4th July 2020. Prof Anu Mohammad presided over the meeting and NCBD central leaders and organisers from the different parts of the globe took part. Organisers from the UK, the USA, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and Sweden joined the meeting. addressed the meeting. Mostafa Farook, convener of the NCBD Europe facilitated the meeting addressed by energy experts and physicians.
Professor Anu Mohammed, NCBD Member Secretary in his speech said that the Government of Bangladesh has allocated huge amount of money for harmful coal and nuclear plants like Rampal and Matarbari. Budget for 2020-21 has plan to invest protecting foreign & corporate interests by allocating large sums of money Taka 16 thousand cores for Rooppur nuclear plant while people have been facing huge health crisis due to Corona pandemic. This money should have been used for improving health service, job creation and mitigating current unemployment and food crisis. Bangladesh is moving towards dirty coal energy while the world is phasing it out. Traditional development path harmful to environment and ecology has brought huge suffering and climate change. He said we need to shift our development paradigm. Instead of GDP growth and coal based energy policy, we need to move towards fossil fuel free environment, friendly renewably energy, fair distribution of wealth and public control over energy sector. We need more investment in public health, renewable energy and food rationing for the poor.
Dr Salimuzzaman from the UK presented a paper on Comprehensive Healthcare and Health Safety in Bangladesh. He said that Bangladesh is carrying out one of the lowest Covid tests in the region, only 4.5 percent. Also, low allocation has been made for health sector budget. He demanded allocation increase of 12 percent of the total annual budget for health. Mahbu Sumon exposed Government’s current Power Sector Master Plan (PSMP) that has fixed its target to increase coal based energy generation from 2.5 to 35 percent. He placed an Alternative Power Sector Master Plan based on renewable.
Global solidarity meeting demanded immediate scraping of hazardous Rampal and Rooppur power plants to save the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and threat to life and environment. The meeting demanded the full implementation of Phulbari agreement, ban of GCM in Bangladesh, implementation of NCBD’s alternative Master plan to ensure cheap and environment friendly power generation emphasizing renewable sources. To rise up and hold these demands the global online meeting decided to organise seminar and meetings though out the year. On the 18th July NCBD will hold public meeting all over the country, on the 26 August will observe Phulbari Solidarity Day and commemorate martyrs of the upsurge of 2006 and finally on 26 September will organise meeting and rally all over the world as Global Solidarity Day.
Central leader from the NCBD Ruhin Hossain Prince, Bazlur Rashid Firoz, Saiful Haque, Fakruddin Atik were present in the Meeting. Amon others from the globe Dr Akhter S Khan Masroor, Dr Q Rahman, Dr Rafikul Hassan Khan, Nisar Ahmed, Abed Ali, Waliur Rahman, Bablu Khondoker, Anupam Saikat Santo, Parvez Alom, Babul Syed, Nazrul Russell, Farhad Ripon, Rakibul Islam, Jasim Uddin Ahmed, Mosrraf Hossain Khan, Koli Islam, Akter Hossain Alok, Mamunur Rashid Sohel, Mahbubur Rahman, Asfer Syed Ferdous, Tushar Roy, Khan Asaduzzaman, Nurul Alam, Noman, Rashid, Kibria Hossain, Zakir Hossain, Sunan Morshed and Mozzamel Haque addressed the meeting.