Hundreds of villagers protested on Wednesday against a coal power plant that is planned to be built in Rahim Yar Khan.
The protesters, including women and children, blocked the Shahi Road by burning tyres. Traffic remained suspended on the road for three hours. As a protest, the villagers also shaved the heads of their children.
They claimed that the government had selected farmland in Ameerpur near Chattha Bhatta for building the power plant without consulting them. They said the government was planning to snatch their livelihood and their homes. They said the plant should be built on the barren that was abundant in the district. However, they said, the government had selected 1,625 acres of fertile agricultural land for the project.
The villagers said their forefathers had to work really hard to make the land cultivatable two centuries ago. They said the project would cause severe environmental damage in the area. The protesters urged the government to shift the project to a less populated area.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2014.