Coal power projects in Gadani: Lives at risk

Must Read

Genocide is the only option in Balochistan – Pakistani Minister declares

A Pakistani minister in Balochistan, who is de-jure head of security apparatus in the region, has declared that genocide...

Aslam Baloch — The Baloch General – TBP Special report

For seventy years, through ups and downs, successes and failures, with rapid and slow pace, the Balochistan’s...

State’s deadly weapon, Shafiq Mengal – The Balochistan Post report

Strings of suicide bombing in Sindh's Shikarpur city and firing incident on BSO azad's rally in Khuzdar got connected...

The Balochistan Post’s special correspondent Shahdad Baloch from Hub reports on Pakistan-China joint venture “Gadani Energy Park”, designed to generate electric power through coal.

In 2013, Pakistani government announced construction of 10 power plants near Gadani coast with help of China. The US Dollar 1.4billion project will use coal to generate 6000MW of electric power to ease Pakistan’s drastic power crisis. China will fund and provide technical assistance for the project that is mainly designed to provide power to Pakistan’s largest city Karachi.

TBP’s correspondent, Shahdad Baloch, visited Lasbella University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Scinces (LUAWMS) to get the views of students and teachers of university regarding the Gadani Energy Park project.

Environmental impacts of coal power

A LUAWMS professor, who opposes the idea of using coal to generate power, told TBP correspondent that the harmful emissions and wastage from the project will immensely disturb the ecology of Gadani coast. The emitted gases will cause lung diseases in inhabitants of Gadani and Hub region. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) will take a major toll on public health by forming acidic particulates that can penetrate in human lungs. It will also cause acid rains, which will further complicate the already damaging drought in the area. This will destroy the crops, forests and soil not only in Gaddani and Hub but also in Windar, Uthal and adjoining areas making the sole source of economy for the locals wholly redundant.

TBP Correspondent asked Shehak Baloch, a student in LUAWMS, about the positive impacts of the project on locals that could occur due to development in the area. To which he laughed loudly and asked : ‘Do you really think these developments are for us? HUBCO was also built in Hub and there were similar claims about its advantages for the locals when the construction started. We were told it will bring progress, all the villages will receive power, farmers will be able to cultivate their lands and locals will get jobs. However, the reality is in front of you. The power that HUBCO generates does not reach the houses of poor locals but instead runs the factories of rich elite in Karachi. In fact, even the entry-level jobs were provided to people from Karachi. Similarly, Gadani Energy Project is for the power needs of Karachi and other parts of country not for the locals here.’

Another student, Nauroz Mengal, told our correspondent: ‘It is very alarming as western countries and environmental groups have rejected this method of power production long time ago due to its drastic negative impacts but Pakistan is all set to play with our lives. Coal power production has been declared illegal in many countries.

Is China kind to us?

TBP’s Shahdad Baloch asked a journalist Haidar Baloch that concerns of nationalist politicians against Islamabad might be true but don’t you think China is involved in it with good intentions? He replied: ‘If China really had positivity in mind then why did they get rid of all such projects in China? They are fully aware of negative outcomes of coal fueled power plants. China sees this as a business opportunity but for the people of the area this is another death warrant.’

Despite all valid concerns of locals, the work on the project might be completed against the will of Baloch people but this will leave drastic footprints on the ecology of the region, which will harm the future generations too.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Kalat: Construction company attacked, 6 workers abducted

Gunmen set fire to the machinery of a construction company and kidnapped six laborers of the company...

Balochistan: 8 people forcibly disappeared within 3 days

Eight people have allegedly forcibly disappeared from Khuzdar, Gwadar, and the Turbat areas of Balochistan within three days. According...

Baloch Women Forum elects new cabinet, commits to struggle for women rights

The Baloch Women Forum (Samo Raaj), an organization advocating for women's rights in Balochistan, has elected a new cabinet. Shalee Baloch has...

Afghanistan: Provincial Governor killed in suicide bombing

Two people, including the acting governor of Badakhshan province, have been reportedly killed in a suicide bombing in Faizabad, the capital of...

Quetta: Supreme Court advocate shot dead

Gunmen shot dead an advocate of the Supreme Court in Quetta, the capital city of Balochistan on Tuesday. According...