On a private TV channel Shaheen Sehbai gave some alarming information about the proposed 600 megawatts coal powered plant at Gadani, he said despite the best Chinese technology, the plant will emit sulpher and carbon dioxide gases and carbon particles which will blacken every building in Karachi, which is only 50 miles away, besides being a health hazard. He said a similar plant being put up in Hong Kong, also about 50 miles from populated area, was blocked by strong protests from the residents. Many countries, he said, are cutting back on coal powered plants

Even if half of what he said is true, it does not bode well for our plans to exploit the Thar coal deposits. The host of the show added his two pennies worth by saying, why are we then doing this and not going for the clean solar and wind power, as if these can give us the 40,000 megawatts that we will need by 2025 when our population will have doubled. He did not mention hydel energy which is equally clean and can give us the 40,000 megawatts all by itself. I said to myself, what is it, or more precisely, who is it who has put the fear of God in people’s mind that they are scared to even mention the word hydel power or building dams while India and China have built thousands of dams?


Lahore, September 2.