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‘Faulty planning in power sector to deepen economic, environmental woes’

Civil society activists criticize misplaced priorities in IGCEP-2047

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 23, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
Posted: Apr 23, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 weeks ago
‘Faulty planning in power sector to deepen economic, environmental woes’

File photo: AFP

Civil society activists have demanded the establishment of a parliamentary commission to investigate failures of planning and regulatory processes aimed at making the power sector technically efficient, financially sustainable and responsive to the imperatives of climate change.

They criticized the misplaced priorities set in the power sector targets to be achieved by the year 2047 – Indicative Generation Capacity Enhancement Plan (IGCEP)-2047.

The National Transmission and Despatch Company has prepared IGCEP-2047 to predict electric power generation requirement and increase in power generation for the next 28 years.

Members of the civil society were addressing a press conference organized by the Alliance for Climate Justice and Clean Energy on Friday. Despite the coal moratorium announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan in December 2020, the rising share of coal power in national energy mix under the IGCEP-2047 did not make any sense, they said. 

Under IGCEP-2047, the share of dirty coal would increase to 37% and there will be a declining share of renewables that would drop to as low as 14% in 2047.

Muhammad Ali Shah, chairperson of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, said the rising share of indigenous coal as envisioned under IGCEP-2047 would increase the existing social, economic and environmental problems faced by the people of Thar due to the ongoing mining and thermal power plant projects in the area.

“Forcible land acquisition for coal power projects has already turned the life of Tharis into a living hell, imposing involuntary displacement on them, robbing them of their gowchar — common grazing land crucial to their livelihood – and exposing them to groundwater contamination and numerous diseases induced by the air pollution caused by ever-increasing number of coal power plants in the region,” he said.

He criticized the NTDC for not accounting for social and environmental costs of ongoing coal power projects while setting the priority to enhance the use of indigenous coal under IGCEP-2047.

Zain Moulvi, a legal and policy analyst at the Alternative Law Collective, said there was an urgent need to restructure this process to better reflect the principles of democratic consultation and sustainable development.

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