PAKISTAN: Fishermen oppose ‘dirty’ coal power

Sunday 19 October 2014

Date: 14 October 2014

Source: Pakistan Today

Type: News

Keywords: Fisherfolk, coal plant

*Pakistan Fishermen Forum protests against govt’s plan to set up coal-operated power plants at Port Qasim, Gidani

*Say it will pollute environment, endanger marine life and render many people jobless

*Urge govt to opt for wind and solar power plants

Coastal community people of Karachi on Tuesday widely opposed the government’s plan to convert all power plants into coal-operated power stations to meet the energy needs. The people of the community, hailing from coastal localities of Karachi, expressed their concerns at a rally organised by Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) and opposed the “dirty energy” in order to save marine ecology and human life along the coastal villages.

The rally led by PFF General Secretary Saeed Baloch, Fatima Majeed, Tahira Ali, Majeed Motani, Talib Kuchhi and others was started from Sachal Hall Ibrahim Hydri to Korangi Power Plant. The rally was part of week-long activities to celebrate the world food day and demand to have safe energy for the people.

Baloch while speaking at the community crowd said that K-Electric wanted to convert all the power operational units to coal-fired, which might pose threats to the human life, livelihoods and the marine ecology.

Quoting government data, Baloch said that the government has claimed to generate 1,320 megawatt electricity through coal-fired power units, which would cause further destruction for the population living near the coastline.

“We want to save marine and human life as under the plan the waste would be streamed into the sea. It will cause diseases among the coastal communities,” he said, adding that “we need nothing but alternate energy through solar and wind mills.”

He said coal-fired plants needs more than 1,100 gallons of water for producing one watt of electricity, nuclear power needs 800 gallon water, natural gas needs 200 gallon water per watt, but solar does not need a single drop of water.

He said that since PFF is a member of global networks, advocating safe energy, it suggests that Pakistan government authorities avoid using coal-fired plants for energy.

“We do not need dirty energy. We need safe energy through solar and windmills,” he said.

Hundreds of people joined the protest demonstration and shouted slogans against the plan of developing coal-fired stations to generate power. The community women carrying banners and placards said they do not need “dirty energy” and want to save their life and sources of livelihoods.

“Government should not adopt such a dangerous strategy to develop coal-fired plants as it will worsen the prevalent crisis and authorities should revise the plan,” said Tahira Ali, a community woman activist.

The community activists said the coal-fired plants were being designed at Port Qasim, Gidani and other areas to generate power. But, they said it would destroy the fish stock along the beaches, pushing hundreds of people to be jobless.

“When the sea will become poisonous through receiving such “dirty energy” waste it will damage the ecology,” said Fatima Majeed, who was among the leading community people.###

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