A massive demonstration held at Islamkot against Gorano Dam

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Sawan Khaskheli
MITHI, Jan 26: The several hundred people from various parts of Thar region on Thursday gathered at Islamkot town, where they staged the demonstration for five hours to register their protest against the construction of what they called the deadly dam at Gorano village .

The people gathered on the call of All Parties Alliance to urge Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company and Govt Sindh to change the site of the water reservoir being built at Gorano area of some 28 off Islamkot town of Tharparkar district. Arbab Lutifullah, the leader of Arbab Group addressing the large number of the charged people noted that the if the site of a water reservoir on 1,500 acres of the land was not changed, it would cause unprecedented devastation in the area, He maintained that that the protesting people’ fears were based on the reports and studies that which said that the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level of this underground water would be around 5000 PPM, much higher than the WHO standard that sets the maximum contaminant level for TDS at 1,000 ppm. He said TDS is directly related to the purity of water, the quality of water purification systems and it is used to determine how safe water is for consumption by humans, animals or for farming. Mr. Arbab outright rejected the claims officials Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company that not a single villager would be affected by the water of the coal mines from block-2 of Thar Coal Area, which would be dumped into the pond at the proposed site. He claimed that fertile area would turn into slat mines and all the wells providing the drinking water to thousands of the inhabitants and their livestock in more than 12 villages would turn brackish and ultimately they would be forced to migrate from their centuries old abodes. He noted the continuous protests by the local people and their recent historic demonstration were the ample proofs of the anger, indignation and fears of Tharis adding he made it clear that Tharis through peaceful yet would go to any extreme to save their abodes from the devastation. He warned the officials of the mining firm to immediately stop the construction work adding he lambasted the PPP leaders not to stand with protesting their critical times. He said that Arbab of Thar had always served the people with dedication and selflessly adding he assured the large number of the participants to lead them in future for their rights.
Advocate Wasand Thari, the central general secretary of Awami Tehrik in his speech lashed out at mining firm and Sindh government for their alleged stubborn and callous attitude towards Tharis adding he warned them of mend their and avoid such projects and policies, which put the true spirits of the coal reserves of Thar. “Tharis are neither against the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) nor against the development of their region but we never mining company to spread destruction” he added. Subhan Samejo of Jamaat Islami observed that it was the great injustice with Tharis that they were being forcibly displaced from their centuries old homes without the proper compensation adding that he demanded the halt of ongoing construction work on the site. Advocate Shah Nawaz Hingorjo of Quami Awami Tehrik said the dam would never be allowed to be built adding he observed that with the water from coal mines should be diverted to some other feasible locations adding he observed no Thari would never allow the company to destroy their lands, historical sites, villages, grazing lands, graveyards etc.

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