The rising cost of Metro Train

As the Orange Metro Train Project again made headlines this week with the death of seven labourers due to a wall collapse, questions are raised regarding the safety of workers as well as citizens who would travel along the 27.1-km route. Fourteen project-related deaths have already been documented in newspapers while the number doing the grapevine is double that.

Given that the life of a poor man is cheap in Pakistan because of an extremely weak labour rights movement, the discourse primarily concentrates on compensation rather than fixing responsibility.

Hub coal project will reduce poverty in Pakistan

Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif has said that the Hub coal power project will not only bring prosperity to the country but will also accelerate the pace of development in Balochistan.

He was talking with a delegation of the Hub Power Company (Hubco) comprising Chief Executive Khalid Mansoor, New Ventures Senior Vice President Tahir Jawaid, Chairman of the coal project company – China Power Hub Generation Company, Huang Yuntao and CPHGC CEO Zhao Yonggang who met with Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif and Secretary Water and Power Younus Dagha on Friday.

The Sahiwal power plant

The districts of Sahiwal and Okara are known for fertile land that produces a huge harvest of grain, potato, sugarcane and fodder. They are also home to precious livestock, such as the Sahiwal cow and the Neeli-Ravi Buffalo. The Royal Veterinary Corps have set up a major breeding and dairy farm near Okara. In Pattoki, there is a buffalo research centre.

‘1500 factories still polluting city’

LAHORE - Out of 1700 factories functional in Lahore, only 201 industries and mills have so far installed pollution control system device, Punjab minister Zakia Shahnawaz told the Punjab Assembly yesterday.

During the question hour on environmental protection and finance departments in Thursday’s session, the PML-N minister said that the provincial government could not seal any factory in the city on any kind of environmental violation. “This [industry] sector has already been facing hard times due to electricity load-shedding and the government doesn’t want to create more troubles.”

Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project to become operational by next year, NA told

The National Assembly was informed Friday that the Neelum-Jhelum Hydropower Project will be made operational by June next year.

Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali told the House during question hour that Neelum-Jhelum project is very critical and the government and the prime minister are making efforts to complete it in a timely manner.

He said these will also help avoid future water crisis. He pointed out that the government is working on different projects in this regard and said that land acquisition process for Diamer-Bhasha Dam is going on.

Non-certified lab prepares ‘distorted’ EIA report for OMT

LAHORE: A non-certified private lab has prepared the baseline profile regarding the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the Orange Line Metro Train (OMT) project, Daily Times has learnt.

EPA had issued a no objection certificate (NOC) to the proponent Lahore Development Authority (LDA) for the execution of OMT project, which is worth Rs 1.62 billion, on May 8, 2015.

Before the execution of any mega project, it is required for EPA to issue an NOC regarding its EIA. It is the responsibility of EPA to recheck the private laboratory’s report before rewarding an NOC to the proponent.

Counting the coal costs

The much discussed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), having an investment portfolio of $46 billion, envisages several electricity generation projects to be set up at a cost of around $35 billion. These projects include those depending on gas, solar energy and coal. It is predicted that around 10,400 MW of energy would be added to the national grid by March 2018, against the total projected supply of 16,400 MW on the completion of these projects.