Staff Correspondent, NewAge, may 17, 2009
The national committee to protect oil, gas, mineral resources, power and port on Saturday called on the Awami League-led government to take effective steps to resolve the ongoing energy crisis. The committee in a protest rally at the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka also demanded immediate resignation of the energy adviser, Toufiq-e-Elahi-Chowdhury.
The rally, also joined by left-leaning political parties, was organised as a part of the programme marking saving energy resources day. The committee convener, Sheikh Muhammad Shaheedullah, said the government had failed to take any effective step to solve the problems of power, gas and coal sectors. He demanded trial of the people involved with the unequal production and sharing contracts signed with multinational companies.
Toufique was the energy secretary during the signing of the contracts which caused huge losses to the country, Shaheedullah said. Now the energy adviser was trying to extract the coal of Phulbari mine in open pit method by the Asia Energy Company which would be contrary to our national interests, he said.
The Workers Party of Bangladesh general secretary, Bimal Biswas, said the present Awami League-led government in its election manifesto had promised to use the national wealth for the development of the country.
The Jatiya Gana Front convener, Tipu Biswas, called on the government to cancel all the unequal PSC deals signed with multinational companies for gas exploration.
The Democratic Left Alliance coordinator and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal central leader, Bazlur Rashid Firoj, urged the government to refrain from the open pit method of coal extraction.
The Democratic Revolutionary Party general secretary, Mushrefa Mishu, urged the government to take immediate steps to save the country’s oil, gas and coal.
Ganasanghati Andolan coordinator Zonayed Saki said the government was planning to lease out the offshore gas blocks to the multinational companies on the basis of the unequal agreements.
Ganatantrik Majdur Party leader Abdus Salam, Communist Party of Bangladesh central leader Sajjad Zahir Chandan, Samayabadi Dal central leader Harun Chowdhury, National Awami Party leader Ismail Hossain, Workers Party of Bangladesh (reconstituted) leader Abdus Satter, Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh leader Mostaque Hossain also spoke in the rally.
The member secretary of the national committee, economist Anu Muhammad, conducted the rally followed by a protest procession which paraded different city roads.