Opp leader in NA deems Sahiwal coal power project a healthcare threat for Punjab

khursheed shah pac

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah has stated that the coal-fired power plant in Sahiwal is not environment-friendly and would turn half the population of Punjab into Tuberculosis (TB) patients.

Chairing a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) senior leader cautioned that Sahiwal coal power project would be a cause of extreme air pollution and will result in great harm to the residents of Punjab.

Reflecting on the current phenomenon of smog, which has enveloped major cities of Punjab and has left a majority of the population with respiratory problems, Khursheed Shah warned the government against scores of people dying in the province as an aftermath of the polluted environment.

The smoke and contamination of air caused by the Sahiwal power project would exasperate an already worsening pollution situation. Health problems culminating into a worse form of diseases and a potential of deaths being caused are all circumstances for which the provincial government would be held responsible.

“This project is a section 302 case against the government,” Shah said and demanded that Sahiwal plant must be struck down at the earliest.

The meeting of PAC was called to review the overall situation of power generation department.

Livid over the recent increase in electricity rates, Khursheed Shah has blamed the energy woes of Pakistan on the unsatisfactory performance of gas and power companies.

Speaking during the meeting, he deemed the recent price increase unfair, stating that such steps affect the poor strata of economy drastically. He further pointed to the low oil rates globally and demanded the government to stop taking measures which increase inflation.

Khursheed Shah also remarked on the statements made by the recent government to end circular debt, stating that such claims were useless unless proper steps were taken for structural transformation within the economy. He deemed urgent focus on the economy as the only hope for containing the Rs 450 billion circular debt.

Speaking to the media after PAC meeting, Khursheed Shah commented on the recent decision taken by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to nominate Shehbaz Sharif as the party’s candidate for prime ministership in 2018 general elections, calling it a political step.

He furthered added that Nawaz Sharif and his family should face the charges against them in accountability courts and that the imminent return of former premier to Pakistan was a positive turn of events.

Khursheed Shah also criticised the continued absence of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan from National Assembly sessions and deemed the detachment from Parliament as a reflection of Imran Khan’s political immaturity.