Black face of coal busi­ness

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - WASEEM KHAN

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Ke­mari coal ter­mi­nal op­er­at­ing in vi­o­la­tion of en­vi­ron­ment law, poses se­ri­ous threat to pub­lic health. En­veloped in dark dust, the en­tire places and nearby places all are black, black­ened streets, shops, mosques, his­tor­i­cal build­ing and other in­fra­struc­ture is an ev­i­dence how the pol­lu­tant had ru­ined the port area and nearby ar­eas. It’s not just Ke­mari res­i­dents who are be­ing af­fected. Peo­ple liv­ing in the ad­ja­cent is­land also in­hale pol­luted air and fall sick when the wind starts blow­ing in their towns. No­body likes to breathe in pol­luted air. The trans­port of coal is se­ri­ously af­fect­ing life and liveli­hood of peo­ple liv­ing in the vicin­ity. Trucks and dumpers are filled with coal. They don’t even cover the coal and the coal is spilled out while they trans­port it from one place to an­other.

A num­ber of dis­eases orig­i­nate from the coal. The num­ber of peo­ple suf­fer­ing from res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease in the lo­cal­ity had in­creased dra­mat­i­cally over the past 10 to 12 years when the coal ter­mi­nal had started its oper­a­tion. The coal dust added a range of health prob­lems in­clud­ing res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness, car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases and lung cancer. Fine coal par­ti­cles pen­e­trate deeply into the lungs. Over time these par­ti­cles ac­cu­mu­late and do more dam­age. —Karachi

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