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#Pakistan- Fishing community objects to nuclear power project

, Nov 28: The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has expressed reservations against two newly-inaugurated Karachi Nuclear Power Projects (K-II and K-III) along the coastal area of the city in Keamari Town, saying that the authorities should have reviewed its environmental and social impacts before their launching.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the PFF said that the community residing in the project area should have been taken into confidence to avoid any loss due to such power plants.

It said that the project area was located close to a fault line and the people had been facing frequent warnings and threats of cyclone and tsunami.

In case of any eventuality, it could be disastrous for not only the communities but also the marine ecology, the PFF said.

“The project site has already been declared disaster-prone and there is no justification of environmental safety and community protection,” it said.

Quoting environmental impacts of similar projects launched in the world, the PFF said that the use of this form of energy did not come without a unique set of consequences.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a project of 2,200 megawatts and 1,100 megawatts each at the KANUPP-II to end loadshedding in the country.

It said the power plants usually released heat into the seawater, which might cause significant drop in populations of several marine species, including the fish and might increase poverty among coastal communities, which depended on fish catch for their livelihood.

The statement also linked negative effects on human health of the power project and appealed to environmentalists, civil society and human rights activists to raise their voice against the power project to avoid “disasters in the future in the name of development to end power shortages”.

“The prime minister has dreamt that the Karachi Coastal Power Project would make the country loadshedding free, but environmentalists and the community residing close to the project have their reservations against this mega project.

“The government never initiated the move to take the communities on board about the positive and negative impacts of the project.”

The PFF advised the government to review the project with its fresh impact survey and tell the community and environmentalists about its safety, because the power plants in Japan had played havoc when it was hit by an earthquake and caused colossal damage to humans and national economy.

The statement said that the PFF was leading the move to oppose such projects in the interest of local communities, because fishermen might pay more price of such kind of development.

“The PFF, being member of international networks, is advocating for conservation of water resources, land rights and food security, which opposes power projects, terming them horrible for the biodiversity.

“The hazards associated with the nuclear power include the risk of potentially catastrophic accidents, routine releases of radioactive gases and liquids from nuclear plants. Further the nuclear power generation is expensive, slow and dangerous.

“To avoid these threats, environmentalists should make a commitment to sensible alternatives that produce sustainable cost-effective reductions in the greenhouse effect: wind power, solar energy, energy efficiency gas and energy from organic matter such as sewage and waste.”—PPI

 

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