Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum shows reservations against newly inaugurated power plants in Karachi

Karachi, November 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has termed the newly inaugurated two Karachi Nuclear Power Projects (K-1 and K-2) along the coastal area of the city in Keamari Town, saying the authorities should have reviewed its environmental and social effects before launching the scheme.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the PFF showed reservations that the community, residing in the project area should have been taken in to confidence with their security to avoid any loss due to such power plants. The statement said the project area is located close to the fault line and the people have been facing frequent warnings and threats of cyclone and tsunami. In case of this happening it could be disastrous for not only the communities but also marine ecology.

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

PFF quoted environmental impact of similar projects launched in the world and said the “use of this form of energy does not come without a unique set of consequences. These can range from environmental impact, altering to a great extent the balance in the flora and fauna of a region, to causing social problems to do with social consensus and risk perceptions of people living in the vicinity of such plants”.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated a project of producing 2,200MW –1100MW each– at KANUPP-II, expecting to end load shedding in the country.

It said the power plants usually release the heat into the seawater, which may cause significant drops in the populations of several marine species, including the fish and may cause the disaster of poverty among the coastal communities, which depend on fish catch for their livelihoods.

The statement also links negative effects on the human health due to the power project and appealed to the environmentalists, civil society and human rights activists to raise the voice against the power project to avoid the impacts of disasters in future in the name of development to end the power shortage.

The prime minister has dreamt as if the Karachi Coastal Power Project will make the country load-shedding-free, but the environmentalists and the community residing close to the project have their reservations against this mega plan.

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

The statement said the region identified for the development of this mega power project has been declared prone to disaster and specially coastal communities are more vulnerable to face threats of cyclones and tsunamis. In case of such mishap, this mega power project may contribute horribly to the ecology and human lives.

PFF has 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 played havoc while it was hit by earthquake, and caused colossal loss to human and national economy.

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

The organization is struggling for safeguarding the fishermen rights, protection of marine and inland ecology and restoration of the natural flow of the rivers. The PFF, being member of international networks, is advocating for conservation of water resources, land rights and food security, which opposes the power projects, terming it horrible for the biodiversity.

The hazards associated with 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.

The statement further said to avoid these threats environmentalists should make a commitment to the sensible alternatives that produce sustainable cost-effective reductions in greenhouse pollution: wind power, solar energy, energy efficiency gas and energy from organic matter such as sewage and waste.

For more information, contact:
Sami Memon
Media coordinator
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum
PFF Secretariat Karachi, Sindh
Sachall Hall, Ibrahim Hyderi,
Bin Qasim Town,
Karachi, Sindh
Phone: +92 21 5092862, 92 21 35090543
Fax: +92 21 35090540

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