Over 150 people, mostly farmers, at a press conference in Munshiganj on Friday accused the district administration of trying to illegally acquire 50 acres of land for a state-owned liquefied natural gas-based power plant in Charamshura area under the sadar upazila in the district.
Shohag Bhuyian, general secretary of the Char Kewar union Juba League, the ruling Awami League’s youth wing, read out the written statement at the press conference held at the district press club in the morning.
‘The Munshiganj district administration was supposed to acquire 123 acres of land in the Charamshura mouza, but it tried to illegally acquire 50 acres more belonging to freedom fighters and 150 helpless farmers,’ said Shohag.
He said that the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh, a state-owned utility company, was implementing a LNG-based project of 600 megawatt power plant in the district for which the district administration acquired 123 acres of land.
‘Munshiganj additional deputy commissioner (revenue) Snahasish Das, senior assistant commissioner Regan Chakma and land acquisition department surveyor Humayun Kabir on December 21 tried to demarcate additional land by installing pillars. When people protested at their move, the district administration officials threatened to send them to jail,’ Shohag Bhuyian alleged.
He also demanded that the authorities concerned compensate for the villagers affected by the land acquisition considering their sacrifice for the sake of the country’s development.
The list of people at risk of losing their land if the district administration succeeded in their illegal land acquisition included nine freedom fighters.
Dismissing the allegations, Munshiganj additional deputy commissioner (revenue) Snahasish Das said that they did not threaten anyone.
‘We went to measure the land following requests from the power plant construction organisation and local people. We did not install pillars on other people’s land,’ he claimed.
The 2016 Power Sector Master Plan revealed that the LNG-based state-owned power plant was initially planned as a 300-400MW coal-fired power plant.
In 2019, the government shelved the coal project and launched the project of building 600MW LNG-based power plant instead.