Pakistan turning to coal for energy leaves Sindh locals in tears

| Updated: Feb 28, 2017 02:45 IST

London [UK], Feb. 27 (ANI): The indigenous communities in Pakistan's Sindh province have come down on the government over the massive coal mining in the region which has severely affected their daily lives. Nabi Bux, a resident of Sehnri Dars in the province's Thar desert, stands as proof to the development, as his village, roughly 400km from the port city of Karachi, has been acquired by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and, as a result, he and about 1,800 fellow residents are to be relocated 25km away, the Guardian reports. With the Sindh government backing the project, the villagers have been coerced into selling their land in the "greater national interest". In summer, massive power shortages add further agony, as Pakistan faces a shortfall of more than 6,000 MW - and many see coal as the only resource that can save the country from a permanent blackout. Meanwhile, there is a prevalent alarm with Pakistan's persistence on turning to coal, and among them is Dr Abid Suleri, executive director of the Islamabad-based Sustainable Development Policy Institute, who has compared the development to "investing in an old gramophone". However, a spokesman from the mining company says it would take 14 years for any damage to occur to land within a 1km radius, adding that the company will not use the reservoir for more than three years. While the protest continues, the coal company is still buying land from villagers who are willing to sell. (ANI)