Matarbari,Maheshkhali Not Being Developed Under Comprehensive Plan
Prof Dr. M Tamim, Chairman, Petroleum & Mineral Resources Engineering Department, BUET : It appears that neither the Infrastructure Development Master Plan of the government nor the power system master plan is being followed in the ongoing Matarbari-Maheshkali development process. JICA suggested the government for developing Matarbari which would be similar to Kashima Port of Japan. But by ignoring power system master plan, one after another contracts or memorandum of understanding (MoUs) are being signed for coal-fired power plants and LNG terminals. If this continues, it may create negative impacts on the government plan for creating an industrial hub and deep seaport development.
On the other hand, there are thoughts of achieving 60,000 MW power generation capacity by 2030 as against 30,000 MW originally thought. But our concern is that can we use 40,000 MW even by that time. The reason is that it may not be possible to sustain 8% GDP growth over a long time. As such power demand based on that assumption appears unrealistic. It is also not clear to me how the huge cost would be met as the energy-power sector is steadily becoming important-fuel dependent.
My suggestion would be bringing deep seaport development, power and energy infrastructure construction and industrial hub development under a well thought of master plan. Other infrastructure like road and railway communication must also be done supplementing the efforts. These will help facilities and infrastructure development in chronological manner within specified time. That will boost the economy tremendously. Otherwise, we have apprehensions over flawed investment, creating new crisis.