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eISSN: 2573-2919

Ecology & Environmental Sciences

Research Article Volume 2 Issue 3

Environmental impact of coal based power plant of Rampal on the Sundarbans (world largest mangrove forest) and surrounding areas

Abdullah Harun Chowdhury

Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, Bangladesh

Correspondence: Abdullah Harun Chowdhury, Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, Bangladesh

Received: February 26, 2016 | Published: May 11, 2017

Citation: Chowdhury AH. Environmental impact of coal based power plant of Rampal on the Sundarbans (world largest mangrove forest) and surrounding areas. MOJ Eco Environ Sci. 2017;2(3):85-98. DOI: 10.15406/mojes.2017.02.00022

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Abstract

The physico-chemical conditions of air, water and soil, and biological conditions of the proposed Coal based Power Plant area (Rampal), Mongla and the Sundrabans were studied from August 2011 to July 2013 to assess the possible environmental impact on the Sundarbans and surrounding areas. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of physical, biological, social and economic environment of the study areas indicate that most of the impacts of coal-fired power plant are negative and irreversible (-81) which can’t be mitigated in any way. It is indicating that climate, topography, land use pattern, air and water quality, floral and faunal diversity, aquatic ecosystems, capture fisheries and tourism of the Sundarbans and the surroundings areas would be affected permanently due to proposed coal fired power plant. Increasing of water logging conditions, river erosion, noise pollution and health hazards; decreasing of ground water table; loss of culture fisheries, social forestry and major destruction of agriculture would be happened due to coal fired power plant. The benefits of proposed coal fired power plant of Rampal is very poor (S+19) than that of negative irreversible impact (-81). So the proposed area is not suitable to establish the coal based power plant as the Sundarbans and surrounding areas would be affected permanently by establishing the proposed coal power plant.

Keywords: coal, power plant, rampal, the sundarbans, environmental impact

Introduction

Coal based power plant produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to heat water to produce steam. The steam, at tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity. A typical 500-megawatt coal power plant creates more than 125,000 tons of ash and 193,000 tons of sludge each year which contain arsenic, mercury, chromium, and cadmium etc. and more than 75% of this waste is disposed of in unlined, unmonitored onsite landfills and surface impoundments as a result source of drinking water (ground water) is being contaminated and damage vital human organs and the nervous system.1 According to the studies of Billings1-3 ecosystems have been damaged sometimes severely or by the disposal of coal plant waste and heat. A coal power plant uses only 33-35% of the coal's heat to produce electricity and rest of the heat is released into the atmosphere and absorbed by the cooling water.4 Once the 2.2 billion gallons of water have cycled through the coal-fired power plant, they are released back into the lakes, rivers, or oceans with chlorine or other toxic chemicals which water is hotter (by up to 20-25° F) than the natural water that receives it and this "thermal pollution" can decrease fertility and increase heart rates in fish.1

According to,2 burning coal is a leading cause of smog, acid rain, global warming, and air toxics. Bangladesh government has decided to establish 1320MW coal-fired power plant at the mouth of the Sundarbans under Rampal upazila of Bagerhat district beside the Poshur river. The Bangladesh government signed a joint venture agreement with India’s state-run electricity generation company (National Thermal Power Company) on 29 January 2012 to implement this project. By implementing this coal-fired power plant the Sundarbans will be affected as the sundarbans situated only 9km downstream from the project site.5,6 The Sundarbans- the largest single tract mangrove forest has been declared Ramsar Site and Natural World Heritage which is situated in the South-West area (21º 31′-22º 38′N and 89º 00′-89º 55′ E) of Bangladesh. It is intersected by a network of tidal canals, creeks and rivers. It is covered an area of 6000 km2 of which 3956 km2 mangrove forest lands and more than 1800 km2 water bodies.7 This tidal forest is very rich with natural resources especially floral and faunal diversity like 66 species of plants, more than 200 fish species, 42 mammals, 234 birds, 51 reptiles, 8 amphibians, a lot of invertebrates etc.8,9 More than 500 thousand peoples are directly and indirectly depending on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods as well as socio-economic purposes. Around 200 thousand people go to the Sundarbans regularly to collect the resources for their livelihoods; less than 200 thousand collect the resources seasonally and around 100 thousand people are doing business of the collected resources and they never go to the Sundarbans directly for resources extraction; roughly 22% people’s livelihoods are involved with the collection of wood resources; 5% are involved with the non-timber forest product; 69% are involved with the aquatic resources and 4% are involved with other purposes.10,11

Government has acquired 1,834 acres of agriculture land in Satmari-Katakhali and Koigordashkathi areas under Rampal upazila to establish the power plant. Only 86 acres lands are kash land and rest of the lands are public lands which were used for rice and fish cultivations by the land owners. The government has also taken an initiative for dredging 10 kilometers of the Poshur river to allow easy access of ships carrying coal for the plant.8,12 Due to an inadequate supply of local coal, the operator suggests to use imported coal. The Bangladesh government has decided to bring coal inside the Sundarbans through the Mongla sea port. Indian National Thermal Power Company and Bangladesh Power Development Board are the two signatories of the project. The proposed power plant will burn around 4.75 million tonnes of coal annually when more or less 0.71 million tonnes ashes and around 0.5 million tonnes sludge and liquid waste may be produced (CEGIS 2013). It would also emit a good amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) - key factor for global warming - some other toxic gases and airborne particles, according to Union of Concerned Scientists, a USA-based group.5,12 discussed on the types and levels of pollution of coal-fired power plant. The ground water and water of the Poshur river may be polluted by the huge amount of waste produced due to burning of the coal. Whereas the existence of strict laws to protect the environment and the wildlife, the government has recently decided to declare a part of the Poshur and Andharmanik rivers sanctuaries for dolphins (Sankar 2012). Due to the Ecologically Critical Area (ECA) rules no power plant should be set up within 12km of the Sundarbans buffer zone.13 The proposed project is 4km away from the buffer zone of the Sundarbans. According to Ministry of Environment and Forests (2010) of India, any thermal power plant can’t be established within 25 km from any natural forest or wild life habitats. But no such data or information on the possible environmental impact of proposed coal based power plant on the Sundarbans and Rampal areas are available. Under the circumstances, it has become imperative to institute an investigation on the estimation of coal-fired power plant hazards and their impacts on the floral and faunal communities of the Sundarbans and surroundings of the project area. The present study deals on the possible impact of coal-fired power plant of Rampal on the ecological and biological conditions of the Sudarbans and surroundings areas of the power plant. The findings of the study will help scientifically to assess the suitability of the coal based power plant in the proposed site.

Materials and methods

The research was studied from August 2011 to July 2013 in 10 permanent stations of each study area (Rampal, Mongla and the Sundarbans). Monthly sampling was carried out and air, water, soil and biological samples were studied in the field and laboratory. Secondary data were collected from published documents and different government offices. All data were analyzed and potential environmental impacts were indentified and calculated by using standard tools and methodologies.14 The samples of the river Pashur and Maidara were collected by using a country boat. Water samples were collected from 10-25 cm depth by using a scale15 for physico-chemical analysis. A standard Secchi disc was used to measure the transparency of water while for water temperature a digital thermometer was used (Model No. 950). In situ measurements of total dissolved solids (TDS), conductivity, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen (DO) were carried out with the help of respective portable field meters. Titrimetric methods were used to determine free CO2, CO3 and HCO3 alkalinities (Welch 1948). BOD5, COD, NO3.N and other chemical parameters were measured following APHA (1989). Total hardness, calcium and magnesium were estimated following.16 Phosphate and silicate were measured following.17 Air and Noise Pollution have been measured by using instruments with the help of Environmental Science Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna. Emission rate of Suspended Particle Matter (SMP), SOX and NOX were measured by using High volume sampler (Envirotech APM-415). Noise pollution was measured using Sound Level Meter (Lutorn, SL-4010). The sound level meter consists of microphone that converts the pattern of sound pressure fluctuations into an electrical voltage, amplifier and a voltage meter that is normally calibrated to read the decibel (dB). Shovels and large ladders were used to collect the soil samples according to18 Soil quality was determined in the laboratory by following.19,20 The populations of aquatic and terrestrial plants in field were measured by following quadrat method (Ambasht 1974). Standard observations and monitoring methods21 (Foot/Pug marks per quadrat area/ a standard area curve) were followed for different faunal study. Latitude and longitude were measured by using a hand GPS meter (model GARMIN GPSMAP® 78s). Statistical analysis among the different parameters was done by following.22

Environmental impact assessment (EIA)

Most of the development projects produce impacts onor changes in the state of natural environment. Of which some are positive and some are negative. Similarly, some positive and negative impacts have been identified for the Coal based Power Plant Project. The DOE (1997) guidelines for industries, ADB (2003) environmental assessment guidelines for initial environmental evaluation (IEE) and FPCO (1992) EIA guidelines were followed during impact assessment. Screening and scoping were used to determine the environmental issues and impacts for Coal fired Power Plant Project and identified as IECs. These issues and impacts had been evaluated in terms of distribution, quantity, quality, seasonality, ecological and socio-economic importance.
The sources of information for the scoping process were

  1. Field visits and environmental survey;
  2. Collected data from KDA, Khulna University, DPHE, BWDB, Meteorological Department, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Center, Upazilas, UPs, NGOs etc.
  3. Meeting with chairmen, members, local people, govt. officials, teachers, social workers.

Selection of important environmental components (IECs)

Through the screening and scopingprocess (ADB 2003), the IECs relevant to environmental study of the proposed coal fired power plant project had been identified and presented in vertical column of table 15. The IECs are climate, topography, land use, flood, river erosion, drainage congestion, surface water pollution, groundwater table depletion, groundwater pollution, loss of wetlands, air pollution, noise pollution, loss of habitats and biodiversity, loss of capture fisheries and agriculture, human population, literacy, status of women, water supply, sanitation, electricity and telephone facilities, health services, human diseases, solid waste, urbanization, industrialization, employment, business opportunity, housing, transportation, markets and bazaars, traffic congestion, fire hazard and tourism.

Impact assessment matrix

The impact assessment matrix is presented in table 15 identified thepotential impacts of coal based power plant of Rampal. The assessment matrix was done in consultation with multi-disciplinary team members. When an impact could not be quantified, qualitative judgment was used based on professional experience. The scoring was done within a 21 point score scale ranging from –1 to –10 for negative impacts and +1 to +10 for positive impacts while “0” was used for no impact (neutral impact) (Pastakia and Jensen 1998).

Results and discussion

The physico-chemical conditions of air, water and soil of the proposed coal fired area (Rampal), Mongla and Sundrabans were studied and data are presented in Tables 1-6. The biological components of the study area had also been studied (Tables 7-14) which are presented in the following pages. Wind direction for the last ten years of the study areas was north to south or north-west to south-east facing from the month of November to February in every year. In the study areas monthly average air temperature varied from 13.5 to 35 °C; relative humidity and rainfall varied from 65 to 86% and 7 to 320mm; SPM, NOx and SOx varied from 145 to 312 mg/m3, 12 to 109 µg/m3 and 9 to 61 µg/m3 respectively. Surface water temperature, TDS, conductivity, salinity, pH, DO, BOD5, COD, total hardness and PO4 varied from 22 to 35.5°C, 3 to 23 g/l, 4 to 16.6 ms/cm, 2 to 22 ppt, 7.1 to 8.9, 6.1 to 8.1 mg/l, 1.3 to 2.4 mg/l, 3.5 to 9.1 mg/l, 660 to 1210 mg/l and 1.53 to 2.55 mg/l respectively. Ground water arsenic varied from 0.01 to 0.21 mg/l. Soil pH, Sulpher and Iron were recorded from 7.3 to 8.1, 44.5 to 1031 micro-gram/g soil and 16 to 108 micro-gram/g soil respectively. During the period of study total 24 herbs, grasses and shrubs were recorded and among them 8 were rare in the project area and 2 were also rare outside of the project area. A total 47 natural woody plants and fruit trees were recorded and among them 5 were in extinct condition, 15 natural woody and fruit trees, and 8 natural woody and fruit trees were recorded as rare in the project and outside the project area respectively. Out of 36 medicinal plants and non-fruit trees 8 species were in extinct condition and 20 were recorded as rare in the project area; 14 medicinal plants and non-fruit trees were also recorded as rare outside of the project area. 6 aquatic macrophytes were recorded as rare out of 14 species. A total 59 species of shrimp, crab, mollusks and fishes were recorded but 18 fishes were extinct and 10 fishes were rare in the project area. 7 species of shrimp, crab and mollusks were also rare in the project area. During the period of study only 3 amphibians were recorded in the project area but 2 were rare. 11 reptiles were recorded in the project area but 2 were extinct and 4 were rare species. In the period of study 24 terrestrial and 10 wetlands birds were recorded but among them 7 rare and 3 extinct terrestrial birds, and 6 extinct and 2 rare wetlands birds were recorded. Only 11 mammals were recorded during the period of study but most of them were extinct in the project area and those were also threatened outside of the project area.

Year

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May.

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Nov.

Dec.

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

Spd

Dir

2003

3.4

N

2.9

NW

3.8

NW

4.7

S

5.2

S

4.8

S

4

S

3.8

S

3.4

S

3

S

2.6

N

2.3

NW

2004

3.3

NW

3.3

NW

3.4

S

4.9

S

4.8

S

3.4

S

3.3

S

3.3

S

4.1

SE

3.6

E

2.1

NW

2.5

NW

2005

2.9

NW

3

N

4

S

4.6

S

4.1

S

3.9

S

3.6

S

3.5

S

3

S

2.4

S

2.1

NW

2.3

NW

2006

2.8

NW

2.8

NW

3

S

5

S

3.9

S

3.8

S

3.4

S

2.9

S

2.8

S

2.4

S

2.3

N

2.5

N

2007

2.7

N

3.6

N

3.9

S

4.8

S

4.4

S

3.2

S

3

S

3

S

2.6

S

2.7

N

2.5

N

2.4

N

2008

3.1

N

3.3

NW

3.6

S

4.8

S

4

S

4.1

S

3.5

S

3

S

2.6

S

3.4

E

2.2

NW

2.9

N

2009

3.6

N

2.9

NW

3.9

S

5.3

S

3.2

S

2.8

S

3.3

S

4

SE

3.7

S

2.3

NW

2.2

NW

2.4

N

2010

2.8

N

2.7

S

2.8

S

2.9

S

3.2

S

3.5

S

3.3

S

2.7

S

4.3

SE

3

S

2.3

NW

2.4

NNW

2011

2.6

N

2.6

S

2.1

SW

2.8

S

3.7

S

3.9

S

2.9

S

2.9

S

4.4

S

2.8

S

4

N

3.2

N

2012

2.8

N

3.4

S

3.2

S

3.5

S

3

S

3.1

S

3.3

S

2.9

S

3.4

S

2.4

W

2.5

N

2.3

N

Table 1 Monthly prevailing winds speed in knots and direction of the study areas from 2003-2012

Source: Bangladesh Metrological Department, 2013

Parameters

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Temp. Avg. Max. (oC)

25.1

30

32.6

34.9

35

34.9

32.8

32.7

31.9

31.9

29.8

26.4

Temp. Avg. Min. (oC)

13.5

17.3

22.1

25.2

25.9

27.3

27.1

25.6

23.8

23.8

18.5

14.5

Temp. Mean (oC)

17.2

20.4

25.2

29.3

29.8

29.8

29.3

29.4

28.9

27.4

23.7

19.2

Relative Humidity Mean (%)

69

65

72

76

79

86

83

81

79

77

72

70

Rainfall Mean (mm)

7

10

148

47

215

103

314

246

320

110

18

9

Sunshine Hour (hr)

6.9

8

8.3

8.3

7.2

5.5

4.5

4.8

5.3

7.2

7.9

7.6

Wind Speed Avg.(Nautical miles/hr)

7.6

10.7

9.7

13

14.2

12.7

12.5

9.6

11.6

7.9

7

6.7

Table 2 Climatic conditions of the study areas (10 years average)

Source: Khulna Meteorological Office, 2013

Study Location

SPM (mg/m3)

NOX (µg/m3)

SOX  (µg/m3)

Working Day

Holiday

Working Day

Holiday

Working Day

Holiday

Rampal area

172-292

268

53-85

72

37-52

45

Mongla area

183-312

314

65-109

98

45-61

52

Sundarbans area

145-179

-

21-Dec

-

15-Sep

-

EQS- Bangladesh

400

80

80

Table 3 Air Quality of study Areas

Source: Field study, 2011-2013

Parameter

Rampal

Mongla

Sundarbans

Range

Mean Value

Range

Mean Value

Range

Mean Value

Air temp.

°C

24-37.5

30.6±0.8

24- 38.5

30.7±1.1

24-38.5

30.8±1.1

Water temp.

°C

22-35

28±0.6

22.5-35.5

28.3±0.4

22.5-35.5

28.5±0.7

Transparency

cm

19-37

25±2

18-33

21±3

17-32

20±2

TDS

g/l

3-20 g/l

10±1 g/l

8.2-23 g/l

16±5 g/l

10-23 g/l

17±6 g/l

Conductivity

ms/cm

4- 16.5

9.95±0.42

7.78-14.1

11.44±0.93

9.91-15.6

12.26±0.49

Salinity

ppt

19-Feb

12±3

21-Aug

14±4

22-Aug

15±5

pH

-

7.1- 8.7

7.4±0.3

7.3-8.9

7.5±0.7

7.5-8.9

7.7±0.7

DO

mg/l

6.1- 7.5

6.4±0.2

6.3-8.1

6.5±0.6

6.3-7.9

6.5±0.4

BOD5

mg/l

1.3-2.3

1.4±0.5

1.7-2.4

1.6±0.5

1.3-2.4

1.4±0.6

COD

mg/l

7.5-8

7.7±0.4

8.6-9.1

8.9±0.4

3.53-4.02

3.8±0.4

CO2

mg/l

0-6

2.5±3.5

-

-

-

-

CO3 alk.

mg/l

16-Jun

11±7

14-30

22±11

9-Jun

8±2

HCO3 alk.

mg/l

100-148

133±22

99-128

110±15

61-77

69±11

Total Hard

mg/l

660-1022

710±25

910-1190

955±34

920-1210

990±103

Ca2+

mg/l

476-641

511±33

519-683

566±66

535-716

615±22

Mg2+

mg/l

377-385

378±6

330-412

371±58

413-460

437±33

PO4

mg/l

1.53-1.87

1.63±0.19

1.65-1.78

1.71±0.12

1.76-2.55

1.82±0.11

Silicate

mg/l

4.96-6.93

5.74±0.26

5.78-6.99

5.95±0.27

6.01-7.12

6.26±0.24

NO3.N

mg/l

2.51-3.93

3.18±0.53

2.49-3.73

2.86±0.53

2.33-3. 51

2.75±0.47

Table 4 Physico-chemical conditions of water of the study areas

- = Not detected

Parameter

Units

Value

Rampal

Mongla

Sundarbans

Depth

m

60-125

75-140

75-140

pH

-

7.5-7.9

7.4-8.1

7.5-8.2

TDS

mg/l

454-1660

617-2584

635-2610

E. Conductivity

µs/cm

908-3270

1170-3654

1126-3709

Salinity

ppt

00-13

16-May

16-May

Arsenic

mg/l

0.01-0.21

0.01-0.17

0.01-0.12

Total Iron

mg/l

0.16-2.89

0.34-3.24

0.18-3.29

HCO3

mg/l

315-651

244-632

229-645

Ca+

mg/l

39-122

37-151

29-154

Mg+

mg/l

15-63

22-82

23-89

Na+

mg/l

135-514

154-642

164-657

Uranium

Ppb

4.46-11.58

-

-

Table 5 Physico-chemical conditions of groundwater of the study areas.

Source: Field study 2011-2013.

Type of soil associations

Study area

pH

Salinity ppt

Org. Mat %

N %

P

S

Zn

Br

K

Ca

Mg

Cu

Fe

Mn

micro-gram/g soil

mv/100g soil

micro-gram/g soil

Rampal

7.3-8.1

2.3-7.8

1.7-2.7

0.07-0.15

Sep-60

170-476

1.6-3.3

0.76-

0.59-0.85

8.3-3

1-6.33

4.7-9.3

21-108

12-46.6

Mongla

7.3-8.1

5-8.5

1.63-2.23

0.07-0.11

4.2-8.2

280-1031

0.4-0.6

0.53-1.55

0.57-1.24

11-21.5

5.05-9.75

2.8-6.2

16-66

22-Apr

Sundarbans

7.6-8.1

3.0-19

1.37-2.8

0.07-0.15

4.1-7.5

44.5-387.3

0.56-0.99

0.56-2.54

0.27-1.16

3-34.5

5-12.5

3.91-7.67

20.5-72

10.6-35

Table 6 Chemical properties of the soils of the study areas

Source: Field study 2011-20013

Local Name

Scientific Name

Status

Outside the project area

Project area

Herbs and grasses

Assamlata/Baraty

Eupatorium odoratum

Vc

C

Bish-katali

Polygonum hydropiper

C

R

Badaeya

Andropogon aciculatus

C

F

Banna danga shak

Amaranthus viridis

F

F

Bilai achra

Mucuna pruriens

F

F

Dubba ghas

Cynodon dactylon

Vc

C

Fenkachu/Mankachu

Alocasia indica

F

R

Fanimonasha

Euphorbia neriifolia

R

R

Gimashak

Glinus oppositifolius

C

R

Kukurmuta

Blumea lacera

C

F

Khuirakata/Kata danga

Amaranthus spinosus

F

F

Kachu

Colocasia esculenta

Vc

C

Kashjar

Saccharum spontaneum

F

R

Lajjabati

Mimosa pudica

R

R

Marich (Banna)

Croton bonplandianum

C

F

Shealmotra

Vernonia patula

F

F

Telakucha

Coccinea cordifolia

C

F

Shrubs

Varanda/Venna

Ricinus communis

F

R

Bhat

Clerodendrum viscosum

C

F

Bet

Calamus sp.

F

E

Dhaincha/Dhanchi

Sesbania cannabina

F

R

Gagra

Xanthium strumarium

C

F

Chitki

Phyllanthus reticulatus

C

F

Titabegun

Solanum torvum

F

F

Table 7 Herbs, grasses and shrubs of the study areas (except the Sundarbans)

Status: Vc-very common, C-common, F-fairly common, R-rare, E-endangered, T-threatened, Et-extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013)

Local Name

Scientific Name

Status

Outside the Project Area

Project Area

Natural woody plants

Bannay

Crataeva religiosa

R

Et

Debdaru

Polyalthia longifolia

R

R

Jobb dumur

Ficus racemosa

F

R

Kharajura

Litsea monopetala

F

R

Kadam

Anthocephalus chinensis

F

R

Gab

Diospyros peregrine

F

Et

Gudu/Pitadonga/Medda

Trewia nudiflora

F

F

Khoksha/dumur

Ficus sp.

C

F

Kharchuna/Teet gila

Derris indica

R

R

Chattim/Chaitan

Alstonia scholaris

R

R

Shaora

Streblus asper

F

R

Titijam

Eugenia sp.

F

Et

Iika

Alangium salvifolium

F

Et

Pitraj

Amoora rohituka

C

F

Jarul

Lagerstroemia speciosa

F

R

Hijal

Barringtonia acutangula

E

Et

Harhari/Shola

Trema orientalis

F

F

Nim

Azadirachta indica

F

R

Shimul

Salmalia malabarica

F

R

Fruit trees

Aam

Mangifera indica

Vc

C

Amloki

Phyllanthus emblica

R

R

Amrah

Spondias pinnata

F

F

Ata (Sharpha)

Annona squamosa

F

F

Ata (Nuna)

Annona reticulata

F

F

Bel

Aegle marmelos

F

F

Boroi/Kul

Ziziphus jujuba

C

F

Chalta

Dillenia indica

R

R

Dalim

Punica granatum

F

F

Deophal

Artocarpus lacucha

R

E

Jam

Syzygium cumini

C

F

Jambura

Citrus grandis

F

R

Jamrul

Eugenia javanica

F

F

Kala

Musa spp.

C

F

Kamranga

Averrhoa carambola

F

F

Karamcha

Carissa carandas

R

       R

Kadbel

Feronia elephantum

C

       C

Kanthal

Artocarpus heterophyllus

C

F

Khejur

Phoenix sylvestris

C

F

Lebu

Citrus spp.

C

C

Narikel

Cocos nucifera

C

C

Pepe

Carica papaya

C

F

Peyara

Psidium guajava

C

C

Sajna

Moringa oleifera

C

F

Supari

Areca catechu

C

C

Safeda

Achras zapota

C

C

Tal

Borassus flabellifer

C

F

Tetul

Tamarindus indica

F

R

Table 8 Natural woody plants and fruit trees of the study areas (except the Sundarbans)

Status: Vc-very common, C-common, F-fairly common, R-rare, E-endangered, T-threatened, Et-extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013)

Local Name

Scientific Name

Status

Outside the project area

Project area

Wild medicinal plants

Akanda

Calotropis procera Br.

R

Et

Anantamul

Hemidesmus indicus L.

R

Et

Apang/Shisakanda

Achyranthes aspera L.

C

R

Bandhonia/Chinigura.

Scoparia dulcis L.

C

F

Basak

Adhatoda vasica Nees.

R

R

Chui Jhal

Piper chaba Hunter

F

R

Dhutura

Datura metel Linn.

F

R

Durba ghas

Cynodon dactylon Pers

C

C

Ghritakumari

Aloe indica Willd.

R

R

Hatisur

Heliotropium indicum L.

C

F

Kalokasunda.

Cassia occidentalis L.

C

R

Kalokeshi

Eclipta alba (Hassk).

F

R

Kalomegh

Andrographis paniculata

R

Et

Kumarilata.

Smilax zeylanica L.

F

R

Lajjabati (white)

Mimosa pudica Linn.

R

Et

Mehedi.

Lawsonia inermis L.

F

R

Nayantara.

Catharanthus roseus.

F

F

Nisinda

Vitex negundo L.

F

R

Olotkombol

Abroma augusta L.

F

R

Pathor kuchi

Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.)

C

F

Pipul

Piper longum Linn.

R

Et

Pudina

Mentha arvensis L.

F

R

Sharpagandha.

Rauwolfia serpentina

R

Et

Shoti

Curcuma zedoaria Rosc.

R

Et

Shotomuli

Asparagus racemosus L.

R

Et

Telakucha

Coccina cordifolia (L)

C

R

Thankuni

Centella asiatica (L) Urban.

C

R

Tulshi

Ocimum basilicum Linn.

C

F

Non-fruit trees

Arjun

Terminalia arjuna

R

F

Asawatha

Ficus religiosa

R

R

Bansh

Bambusa spp.

C

R

Bot

Ficus benghalensis

R

R

Jilapi

Acacia sp.

F

R

Krishnachura

Delonix regia

R

F

Mandar

Erythrina variegata

F

R

Zigha

Lannea coromandelica

C

R

Table 9 Wild medicinal plants and non-fruit trees of the study areas (except the Sundarbans)

Status: Vc-very common, C-common, F-fairly common, R-rare, E-endangered, T-threatened, Et-extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013)

Local Name

Scientific Name

Status

Outside the project area

Project area

Social forest plants

Akashmoni

Acacia moniliformis

F

F

Rendi koroi

Samanea saman

C

C

Shil koroi

Albizia sp.

F

R

Mahogany

Swietenia mahagoni

C

C

Piya

Melia sempervirens

F

R

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus citriodora

F

F

Shegun

Tectona grandis

R

R

Shishu

Dalbergia shishu

C

C

Babla

Acacia arabica

C

F

Ipil ipil

Leucaena latisiliqua

C

F

Aquatic plants

Azola

Azolla pinnata

R

R

Buripana

Spirodela polyrhiza

C

C

Chaicha

Scirpus articulatus

C

C

Dhol kalmi

Ipomoea fistulosa

F

F

Helencha

Alternanthera philoxeroides

C

F

Jhanji

Utricularia aurea

R

R

Kachuri pana

Eichhornia crassipes

C

F

Kalmi

Ipomoea aquatica

F

R

Keshordam

Ludwigia adscendens

C

F

Khudipana

Lemna minor

C

C

Malanchi

Enhydra fluctuans

F

R

Shapla

Nymphaea stellata

F

R

Shusni shak

Marsilea quadrifolia

C

F

Topapana

Pistia stratiotes

F

R

Table 10: Social forest plants and aquatic plants of the study area (except the Sundarbans).

Status: Vc-very common, C-common, F-fairly common, R-rare, E-endangered, T-threatened, Et-extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013).

Bangla Name

Scientific Name

Habitat

Status

Outside the project area

Project area

Shrimp, crab and mollusks

Golda- chingri

Macrobrachium rosenbergii

RB

C

R

Bagda- chingri

Penaeus monodon

RB

C

R

Harina-chingri

Metapenaeus monoceros

RB

C

R

Guara-chingri

Palaemon spp.

RBP

C

F

Boro- kakara

Scylla serrata

RBP

F

R

Choto-kakra

Gelasimus annulipes

RBP

C

F

Boro- shamuk

Pila globosa

BP

F

R

Guli- shamuk

Vivipara bengalensis

BP

C

F

Choto- shamuk

Lymnaea spp.

BP

C

F

Choto- shamuk

Bithynia tentaculata

RBP

C

F

Lamba- shamuk

Melania tuberculata

RB

F

R

Zinuk

Lamellideus marginalis

RBP

F

R

Fishes

Kakila

Xenentodon cancila

RBP

C

R

Shol

Channa striatus

RB

C

R

Taki

Channa punctatus

RB

C

F

Gazar

Channa marulius

RB

R

Et

Darkina

Esomus danricus

RB

C

F

Chela

Onygaster phulo

RB

F

Et

Mola

Amblypharyngodon mola

RB

F

R

Rui

Labeo rohita

RBP

C

C

Catla

Catla catla

RBP

C

C

Mrigal

Cirrhinus mrigala

RBP

C

C

Tatkini

Cirrhinus reba

RB

F

Et

Silver carp

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

RBP

C

C

Grass carp

Ctenopharyngodon idella

RBP

F

F

Carpio

Cyprinus carpio

RBP

E

Et

Tit punti

Puntius ticto

RBP

F

R

Punti

Puntius stigma

RB

C

F

Thai punti

Puntius gonionotus

RBP

F

F

Gutum

Lepidocephalus guntea

RB

F

R

Shingi

Heteropneustes fossilis

RB

C

F

Magur

Clarias batrachus

RB

R

Et

Boal

Wallago attu

RB

C

Et

Kani pabda

Ompok bimaculatus

RB

R

Et

Pangas

Pangasius pangasius

RBP

C

C

Rita

Rita rita

RB

F

Et

Ayre

Mystus aor

RB

C

Et

Tengra

Mystus vittatus

RB

C

F

Chitol

Notopterus chitala

RB

R

Et

Foli

Notopterus notopterus

RB

F

Et

Chapila

Gudusia chapra

RB

C

Et

Baim

Mastacembelus armatus

RB

C

Et

Gochi baim

Mastacembelus pancalus

RB

C

F

Tara baim

Macrognathus aculeatus

RB

R

Et

Khalisha

Colisa fasciatus

RB

C

F

Chata/Boichn

Colisa lalius

RB

F

R

Koi

Anabas testudineus

RB

F

R

Telapia

Oreochromis niloticus

RBP

C

C

Baila

Glossogobius giuris

RB

C

R

Baro chanda

Chanda nama

RB

R

R

Choto chanda

Chanda ranga

RB

F

R

Khorshula

Rhinomugil corsula

RB

F

Et

Vetki

Lates calcarifer

RB

C

F

Parshe

Liza spp.

RB

C

F

Datina

Pomadasys hasta

RB

C

F

Roop chanda

Pampus chinensis

R

F

Et

Taposhi

Polynemus paradiseus

R

F

Et

Khorkuno

Mugil spp.

RBP

C

F

Ilish

Hilsa ilisha

R

F

Et

Table 11 Shrimp, crab, molluscs and fishes of the study areas (except the Sundarbans)

Habitat: R=River, B=Beel/ Gher and P=Pond; Status: Vc =Very Common, C = Common, F =Fairly Common, R =Rare and T =Threatened, Et = Extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013)

Bangla Name

English Name

Scientific Name

Status

Outside of the project area

Project area

Amphibians

Kotkoti/Baiya bang

Skipper frog

Rana cyanophlyctis

F

R

Sonalibang

Bull frog

Rana tigrina

F

R

Kunobang

Toad

Bufo melanostictus

F

F

Reptiles

Tiktiki

Wall lizard

Hemidactylus flaviviridis

C

C

Anjali/Nenja

Shink

Mabuya carinata

C

F

Kalo Gui shap

Monitor lizard/Grey lizard

Varanus bengalensis

C

F

Sonali/Haldey Gui

Yellow lajnd monitor

Varanus flavescens

F

R

Bara-kasim

Soft shell turtle

Trionyx gangeticus

R

Et

Kaitta /Kori kaitta

Roofed turtle

Kachuga tecta

F

R

Saundi kasim

Spotted flap shell tortoise

Lissemys punctata

F

Et

Paina/Matia shap

Common water snake

Enhydris enhydris

C

F

Dora Shap

Checkered keelback

Xenochrophis piscator

C

F

Daras shap

Rat snake

Ptyas mucosus

F

R

Gokhra shap

Cobra

Naja naja

F

R

Table 12 Amphibians and reptiles of the study areas (except the Sundarbans)

Status: Vc =Very Common, C = Common, F =Fairly Common, R =Rare and T =Threatened, Et = Extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013)

Bangla Name

English Name

Scientific Name

Status

Amphibians

Outside of the Project Area

Project Area

Kotkoti/Baiya bang

Skipper frog

Rana cyanophlyctis

F

R

Sonalibang

Bull frog

Rana tigrina

F

R

Kunobang

Toad

Bufo melanostictus

F

F

Reptiles

Tiktiki

Wall lizard

Hemidactylus flaviviridis

C

C

Anjali/Nenja

Shink

Mabuya carinata

C

F

Kalo Gui shap

Monitor lizard/Grey lizard

Varanus bengalensis

C

F

Sonali/Haldey Gui

Yellow lajnd monitor

Varanus flavescens

F

R

Bara-kasim

Soft shell turtle

Trionyx gangeticus

R

Et

Kaitta /Kori kaitta

Roofed turtle

Kachuga tecta

F

R

Saundi kasim

Spotted flap shell tortoise

Lissemys punctata

F

Et

Paina/Matia shap

Common water snake

Enhydris enhydris

C

F

Dora Shap

Checkered keelback

Xenochrophis piscator

C

F

Daras shap

Rat snake

Ptyas mucosus

F

R

Gokhra shap

Cobra

Naja naja

F

R

Bhuban cheel

Black kite

Milvus migrans

F

F

Tila baz

Kestre eagle

Falco tinnunculus

R

Et

Mala ghughu

Ring dove

Streptopelia decaocto

F

R

Tila ghughu

Spotted dove

Streptopelia chinensis

F

R

Jalali cobutor

Blue R. pigeon

Columba livia

C

C

Teya

Parakeet

Psittacula krameri

F

R

Kokil

Koel

Eudynamys scolopacea

F

F

Kanakoka

Lesser coucal

Centropus bengalensis

F

Et

Lokhi pecha

Bran owl

Tyto alba

F

R

Bhutum pecha

Spotted owlet

Athene brama

F

R

Katthokra

Golden-backed wood pecker

Dinopium javanense

F

R

Ababil

House swift

Apus affinis

C

C

Shipahi-bulbul

Red-whiskerdbulbul

Pycnonotus cafer

C

C

Doyal

Magpic robin

Copsychus saularis

C

C

Tuntune

Tailor bird

Orthotomus sutorius

F

F

Fingae

Black drongo

Dicrurus macrocercus

C

C

Pati kak

House crow

Corvus splendens

C

C

Dar kak

Jungle corw

Corvus macrorhynchos

C

C

Baht salik

Common myna

Acridotheres tristis

C

C

Jhuti-salik

Pied myna

Sturnus contra

C

C

Chorui

House sparrow

Passer domestica

C

C

Babui

Baya

Ploceus philippinus

C

F

Kutum

Black headed oriole

Oriolus chinensis

F

R

Shakun

White backed vulture

Gyps bengalensis

R

Et

Wetlands bird

Pancowri

Little cormorant

Phalacrocorax niger

F

Et

Kani bok

Pond heron

Ardeola grayii

C

F

Sada bok

Little egret

Egretta garzetta

C

F

Bali hash

Lesser Whistling duck

Dendrocygna javanica

F

Et

Chota machranga

Common kingfisher

Alcedo atthis

F

R

Machranga

White throated kingfisher

Halcyon smyrnensis

C

R

Dahuk

Water hen

Gallicrex cinerea

F

Et

Kora

Water cock

Amaurornis phoenicurus

F

Et

Shamuk banga

Openbill stork

Anastomus oscitans

T

Et

Pancowri

Little cormorant

Phalacrocorax niger

F

Et

Table 13 Birds of the study areas (except the Sundarbans)

Status: Vc =Very Common, C = Common, F =Fairly Common, R =Rare and T =Threatened, Et = Extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013)

Bangla Name

English Name

Scientific Name

Status

Out of the Project Area

Project area

Borobadur

Flying fox

Pteropus giganteus

F

R

Shial

Jackal

Canis aureus indicus

R

Et

Khak shial

Fox

Vulpes bengalensis

T

Et

Beji

Mongoose

Herpestes edwardsii

T

R

Banbiral/Bona

Jungle cat

Felis chaus

T

Et

Khorgosh

Black-naped hare

Lepus nigricollis

Et

Et

Katbirali

Irrawadedy squirre

Callosciurus pygeregthrus

R

Et

Udd

Otter

Lutra lutra

T

Et

Gaso indur

L.bandicoot rat

Bandicota bengalensis

C

F

Indur

G.bandicoot rat

Bandicota indica

Vc

C

Chika/Sucho

House shrew

Suncus murinus

C

C

Table 14 List of mammals the project area (except the Sundarbans)

Status: Vc =Very Common, C = Common, F =Fairly Common, R =Rare and T =Threatened, Et = Extinct (Source: Field study 2011-2013).

On the basis of present conditions of the study areas like physico-chemical conditions of air, water and soil; meteorological data (Tables 1-6) and, floral and faunal status (Tables 7-14) it can be concluded that inside and outside of the project area such as Rampal, Mongla and the adjacent Sundarbans are free from different types of pollution except salinity intrusion. More or less similar observations were also made by22-25 recorded dolphins, crocodile, Maskedfinfoot, migratory birds, wild boar, deer, snakes, fishes, different mammals etc. inside the Sundarbans, in and around the rivers and their connected canals and creeks of the Sundarbans. Floral and faunal statuses (Table 7-14) are indicating that some plants and animals are already in extinct conditions and some are in rare conditions due to natural climatic hazards. Due to pollution of the coal fired power plant rest of the floral and faunal diversity will be destroyed by changing air, water and soil quality of the study areas. According to EIA study of CEGIS (2013) the proposed coal based power plant will discharge 51830 Metric Tons (MT) Sulfur di-oxide (SOX) yearly and 17277 MT SOX during dry season (16 November to 15 March) if power plant burn less sulfur content (<0.6%) coal; emission of Nitrigen di-oxide (NOX) will be 31025 MT yearly and 10342 MT during dry season; 711750 MT ash will produce yearly and 237250 MT will produce during dry seasons; yearly 23783184060 gallons and during dry season 7927728020 gallons water will intake by this power plant from the Pashur river; yearly 10397020354 gallons water will be consumed and 13386163706 gallons cooling/ waste water will be discharged to the Pashur river directly or indirectly and ultimately polluted water flows to the Sunderbans as the Pashur meets the sea by flowing inside the Sundarbans. CEGIS (2013) also mentioned that after starting the Rampal coal based power plant the SOX level will be reached 50.4 - 53.4 ìg/m3 and NOX level will be reached 47.2- 51.2 ìg/m3 inside the Sundarbans if use best quality coal; whereas present SOX level is 8 - 11 ìg/m3 and NOX level is 16 - 20 ìg/m3 inside the Sundarbans. Last ten years wind flows directions (Table 1) and CEGIS (2013) produced wind flows diagram indicate that during dry season (from 16 November to 15 March) the Sundarbans will receive directly SOX, NOX and other gases from the power plant. As a result floral and faunal diversity of the Sundarbans will be affected gradually day by day and endangered species will be injured seriously in aquatic and forest floors as during dry season there is no possibility of dilute of gases by rainfall. Dispersion models of different gases of CEGIS (2013) indicate that SOX, NOX and other gases will flows up to 35 km inside the Sundarbans during dry season in every year. Surrounding agricultural (rice, shrimp etc.) lands and wetlands (the river Pashur, Maidara and other tidal canals) of the coal power plants will be affected by the leaching of toxic substances from deposited coal burned ashes; the ashes contain many heavy metals including arsenic, lead, mercury, nickel, vanadium, beryllium, barium, cadmium, chromium, selenium and radium, which are dangerous if released into environment (CEGIS 2013). These heavy metals can change the soil and water quality of the Sundarbans by mixing runoff rain water during rainy reason.12 described on the emission level of different toxic gases and heavy metals of coal fired power plant. Human health hazards and possible impact on the Sundarbans due to coal-fired power plant have also been discussed by.5 The wind flow is indicating that the total study area i.e. Rampal, Mongla and the Sundarbans will be affected by the toxic gases and ashes of the coal based power plant in different seasons. Especially the Sundarbans will be affected during pick tourism period in the month of December to February. It is a matter to be concerned when the Sundarbans reserve forest is already facing threats from natural calamity, deforestation, rise in salinity and extinction of many species mainly due to human carelessness, ignorance and lack of implementation of laws, poaching and illegal wildlife trade.26,27 Study of28-30 on the impacts of oil spill on the Sundarbans indicates that sink of coal loaded ship created some problems for the biodiversity and ecological conditions of the Sundarbans.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)31-35 of physical, biological, social and economic environment of the Sundarbans and the surrounding areas indicate that most of the impacts of coal-fired power plant are negative and irreversible (-81) which can’t be mitigated in any way. It is indicating that climate, topography, land use pattern, air and water (surface and ground both) quality, floral and faunal diversity, aquatic ecosystems, capture fisheries and tourism of the Sundarbans and the surrounding areas will be affected permanently due to proposed coal fired power plant. Increasing of water logging conditions, river erosion, noise pollution and health hazards; decreasing of ground water table; loss of culture fisheries, social forestry and health hazards, and major destruction of agriculture will be happened due to coal fired power plant. These problems may be reversible after long mitigation process except agriculture. But all reversible mitigations are negative (total no. is -67).36-38 Mitigation of agricultural loss will be very difficult and many people will become land less. Urbanization, development of markets/ bazaars, transportation and industrialization will be developed which may be sustainable but mitigation must be ensured. The total no. of sustainable mitigation is only +14 which indicates that the study area is not suitable for industrialization and urbanization. By establishing the coal fired power plant only electrification in the rural area, and very few job and localized business facilities will be increased. The benefits/facilities of proposed coal fired power plant of Rampal is very poor (S+19) than that of negative irreversible impact (-81). So environmentally, physically, socially and economically the selected area is not suitable to establish any type of coal based power plant. On the basis of IECs and EIA, coal based power plant will be act as “to add insult to injure” in the project area as well as on the Sundarbans, Rampal and Mongla areas. A long term research and intensive monitoring must be done to find out the detail information on the long term impact of coal based power plant on the biodiversity and ecological conditions of the Sundarbans before introducing the coal based power plant in Rampal. Otherwise the fragile ecosystem of the Sundarbans including its buffer zone could be threatened by the pollutants of the coal based power plant of Rampal.

Acknowledgements

None.

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

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