Vol. 5 Num 664 Mon. April 10, 2006  

Phulbari Coal
Procession, rally protesting open pit mining

People, joined by political party activists and professionals yesterday brought out a big procession and held a rally in Dinajpur town protesting the proposed open pit mining of coal from Phulbari coal mine.

Several hundred people including women from Phulbari joined the programmes.

They also submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minister through the Deputy Commissioner to press the demand.

The procession, brought out from in front of Dinajpur Press Club and paraded the town streets. The processionists carried banners and chanted slogans against open pit mining, which will displace hundreds of people and damage cultivable lands and the ecology in about 135 square mile area in two upazilas.

After submitting the memorandum, the processionists held a rally where speakers said they will go for tougher agitation if the government allow open pit mining.

The rally was presided over by Md. Mossadeque Hossain Labu, convener of Dinajpur unit of the National Oil and Gas Protecting Committee.

The Phulbari coal mine is being developed by Asia Energy, a subsidiary of London-based Carbine Mining Group.

Sourcs said the company has done feasibility study and test drilling in five square kilometre area in Phulbari.

It has submitted a plan to the government. The company may start coal extraction next year after completion of its study in September it the government approves the plan, the sources said.

The coal deposit in Phulbari has been estimate at about 572 million tonnes.

A procesion organised by the National Oil and Gas Protection Committee in Dinajpur town yesterday protesting proposed open pit mining of coal in Phulbari. PHOTO: STAR