CPEC jobs
Image Source: Express Tribune

Unemployment has been an issue in Pakistan for a long time now. There is a huge discrepancy between what is supplied and what is demanded. Moreover, now unemployment is at an all-time high as all corporations lay off their employees in order to preserve losses.

At a time like this, said the news is like manna from the heavens! The government has announced the availability of 1100 jobs under CPEC. But, what’s the catch?

CPEC Is Making Waves

Chairman of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority, Asim Bajwa, recently made a huge announcement. Bajwa announced that over 1100 jobs will be created across different categories at Thar Block-I.

The mine is none other than the $1.9 billion integrated coal mine and power project situated in Tharparkar.

Image Source: Belt and Road Initiative

According to Chairman CPEC, local residents will be given preference. In other words, the authorities don’t want to exploit the area as is the norm. Residents will be preferred in the selection on the basis of their qualifications.

More About The Mine

The Thar coalfield stretches over 9,000 sq. km and has an estimated 175 billion tons of coal reserves. These characteristics make it the 7th biggest coalfield in the world.

The Thar Block-I project holds immense significance in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key part of the much bigger Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Once operational, the project will supply 6.8 million tons of lignite, soft brownish coal, annually to two 660 MWs power plants. One of the power plants will be completed in August 2022 while the other will start in 2023.

Image Source: ProPakistani

Why Are We Going Backwards?

Truth be told, CPEC’s coal power plant and Pakistan’s happiness over it is disappointing to say the least. At a time when all the countries in the world are going coal-free and making huge, innovative developments to mitigate climate change’s effects, we’re amping up our coal production!

Coal releases CO2 in the air which is a greenhouse gas that makes the Earth warmer.

Why have the rains of Karachi broken a 90-year old record? It’s because of climate change and this is just the beginning. If, at the very beginning, we have an entire city going into a state of emergency, can we really afford the impending disasters?

The government taking pride in the Billion Tree Tsunami project while exploiting huge coal mines is like adding fuel to the fire but also purchasing a fire extinguisher to put on the side. 

China’s Strategic Moves

China is the world’s largest coal consumer. The superpower recently decided to amplify the development work on the Thar Block-I project after a trade war initiated with Australia.

Image Source: CPEC

The Australian Prime Minister’s call for an independent investigation into the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in late December, last year, has severed the tie between the two nations. In this regard, 500 workers of Shanghai Electric Power recently reached Pakistan to resume work on the Thar Block-I project.

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