STAFF REPORT SAHIWAL: Though the Sahiwal coal-fired power plant to be built near Qadirabad, is expected to generate 1,320MW electricity to help overcome power crisis, it will have an enormous ecological cost too.
The first casualty of the plant to be set up on 1,002 acres of agricultural land will be the lush green vegetation in the project area.
According to an official, total 9,302 fruit and wild trees will have to be cut down, 36 tube-wells and three water channels used for irrigation will be dismantled, along with flattening of 783 acres of farmland with standing crops of wheat, maize, cotton, before the beginning of construction work on the site of the power plant.
The land on the right side of Lower Bari Doab Canal is being acquired by the provincial energy department from various private owners under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.
Presently, the trees cutting process is in progress to level the land for the plant as over a dozen workers are witnessed ruthlessly felling lush green trees.
Jawad Chishti, an Islamabad-based public policy environmentalist says the coal power plant will damage “vegetative cover” in the area naturally available in the form of trees, shrubs, crops and fruit plants, besides depriving the birds of their sanctuary.