Another imported coal-based plant in Punjab

According to an advertisement of the Energy Department (Government of Punjab), yet another power plant based on imported coal has been approved.
Siting power plants based on imported coal have been generally criticized for several reasons; imported coal will be transported from Karachi which would strain our Railway network, cause pollution and unseemly sights throughout its passage and will affect health and agricultural productivity. There is almost a consensus among experts that imported coal based power plants should be installed on sea coast and electricity be transported from Karachi rather than coal, which would be cleaner and possibly cheaper.
The counter argument popular in Punjab is that demand is high and growing. Hence, power plants should be situated near the load center to avoid congestion and investment in electricity transmission.
Published in The Express Tribune, 17th July, 2017.