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The clean environment essential.

Coal is considered an impediment in combating climate change and achieving sustainable development. The burning of coal emits carbon which in return burns with oxygen producing a heat trapping gas carbondioxide leading to global warming.

Moreover coal-fired plants can lead to serious health impacts such as tuberculosis to the nearby community and water pollution. A mitigation strategy is to incorporate carbon capture and storage coupled to coal plants to reduce carbon dioxide levels.

In order to meet the energy demand of a growing population, various coal-fired power plants are underway as part of CPEC. The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, inaugurated on Monday the 1,320 megawatt China Hub power plant, which is one of the primary projects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

He said the joint projects under the CPEC are a positive sign, recommending that more coal be brought from Thar to be utilised for this power plant. "There are 6,000 Pakistani workers associated with the project," said the prime minister.

He further said electricity is being produced from coal in Thar, adding that due to CPEC the country is progressing. No specific baseline study has been carried out till date by the agency concerned, although the minimum requirement of National Environmental Quality Standards should be met.

This year has been a year in which various countries have managed to become renewable energy champions leading to phenomenal success stories and providing hope to solve the worlds global problem: climate change. Pakistan renewable energy sector still is underdeveloped.

However, the ideal geographical coordinates can capture solar energy uniquely since it is gifted by sunshine availability of more than 12 hours per day. This can easily supply electricity at household and commercial level.

It requires a process that is water intensive which degrades local soil quality. However, a detailed feasibility study of the Balochistan coal reserve may yield a better quality local coal option with more cost-effective results.

Balochistan is considered the fittest place to establish solar and wind power plants. Stormy wind is blowing constantly and round-the-year near Nokkundi where huge power plant based in Wind energy can be established.

Small villages found at some distance should be given the roof-top solutions by installing a smallest unit to ensure power supply. All the educational institutions and Government hospitals, clinics and healthcare centres should be provide solar energy so that they should function round-the-clock with solar power.

The Previous provincial government took no interest in building a decent infrastructure for future economic development. Electricity is an essential factor and as no investor will come with a power plant to operate his factories and mills in place like backward Balochistan.

It is the State that should provide the necessary infrastructure and later invite the potential investors to Balochistan. Future economic and industrial development is linked with adequate and uninterrupted power supply to the industrial and commercial consumers.

For this, the Government should prepare a five-year plan extending the power transmission line to all corners of Balochistan covering the most important human settlements with potentials for development. There is a need to develop solar technology on priority basis as roof top solution idea is the only solution to the problem of common people and in remote corners of Balochistan.

Similarly, Nokkundi and its adjoining region in Iran and Afghanistan are rich in wind power where 30 knot per hour wind is constantly blowing round the year which can meet the need of the entire region if wind power is tapped. The new government must implement environmental policies realising Pakistan's vulnerable state towards climate change.

There is a need for the rulers to plan to extend and strengthen power transmission lines immediately so that electricity is provided to all areas without any discrimination. The Government should meet the energy facilities to the people on priority bases pending the demand for industrial and commercial use of energy for sustainable economic development.

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Publication:The Balochistan Express (Quetta, Pakistan)
Date:Oct 25, 2019
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