The proposed coal-fired power plants in Cox's Bazar will possibly emit 72 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and thousands of tonnes of other harmful substances if those sustain for 40 years.
Sharif Jamil, general secretary of the Bapa and co-ordinator of the Waterkeepers Bangladesh, made the disclosure while unveiling a report titled "The Tourist Capital of Bangladesh Endangered by Plans to Build the Largest Coal Power Hub in The World" at a press conference at the Dhaka Reporters' Unity on Friday.
"This will jeopardise the health of the people in Cox's Bazar and also threaten its position as the most visited tourist destination in Bangladesh," Sharif added.
The Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (Bapa) and the Waterkeepers Bangladesh organised the programme.
Construction of 17 coal-fired power plants with the capacity to generate 17,944 megawatts of electricity has been proposed in 25 kilometres area of the district.
Bapa President Sultana Kamal, in her speech, said they never opposed the development projects but they want those to be done in a planned way, and for the betterment of the people.
"We do not want to see this country as one of the most polluted ones in the world. We want to save Cox's Bazar and Moheskhali," she said.
Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of the Transparency International Bangladesh, spoke at the event as special guest while Executive Vice-president of Bapa Dr Md Abdul Matin moderated it.
Iftekharuzzaman said, "Ignoring our repeated calls, the government has been undertaking harmful coal-fired projects only to satisfy the investors."
Dr Md Abdul Matin urged the government to cancel those projects in the tourism city.
"It is not too late to prevent millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matters, coal ash and mercury from polluting Cox's Bazar so much that it can no longer sustain the growth of tourism and fishing economies," said Abdul Matin.
Among others, Joint secretary of Bapa Sharmin Murshid, President of Bapa's Cox's Bazar unit Fazlul Quader Chowdhury and its Maheshkhali unit Secretary Abu Bakar Siddique were also present at the press conference.