'Now or Never': 400 Kilometer March Begins in Bangladesh to Oppose Coal Plants

Hundreds of protesters in Bangladesh on Thursday launched a 400 kilometer (248 mile) march in opposition to the government’s plans to build two coal-powered plants near the world’s largest mangrove forest region on the border between Bangladesh and India.

Work has already begun on the $1.7 billion venture, but protesters fear that pollution from the plants would destroy the forests, known as the Sundarbans, which are home to a range of species—including Bengal tigers—and are collectively a UNESCO World Heritage site.

“It’s now or never. We can’t allow this power plant to destroy the world’s largest mangrove forest,” Ruhin Hossain, one of the march organizers told Agence France-Presse.

The New Indian Express reports:

According to Al Jazeera, the 1,320-megawatt plant already built by the Indian and Bangladeshi governments and a 545-megawatt facility planned for construction by the U.S.-based energy firm Orion are necessary to provide electricity to roughly a third of the population that currently does not have access to power.