Yet another power plant that is based on imported coal has been approved by Government of Punjab. A contract with a Chinese company has been signed.
Now, this may appear as a step towards development but it is not really good news. The coal would be transported from Karachi, via Railway track. It would lead to high pollution, cause health issues and affect agricultural productivity in the vicinity. Experts believe that a coal plant should be installed near sea coast and then instead of the plant, electricity should be transported from Karachi.
The argument against this point is that demand for electricity is growing in Punjab; therefore its power plant should be installed nearby.
Now even if we agree with this at least the site of the plant should have been Rahim Yar Khan and not Sahiwal. Rahim Yar Khan is near to Karachi so the transport expenses would have been less and would have also minimized environmental damage.
Also, Thar coal resources in Pakistan should have led Punjab government to install the power plant there, instead of in Sahiwal.
Now we can look at the situation from short term perspective as well as long term perspective. Apparently, another power plant for combating electricity issue in Punjab seems like a brilliant idea. Just before we start applauding our government we need to look at the situation from long term perspective. Harming our environment with our own hands, damaging agriculture and wasting money on it as well doesn’t seem so good, does it? Our government needs to realize that if they really want to work for the country, they need to plan and implement things by looking from each and every perspective.