The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum has inaugurated Peoples Tribunal and Sindhi translation of a research study on environmental pollution caused by coal mining and coal power plants. PFF Chairman Mohammad Ali Shah, Bibi Yasmeen Shah, Aslam Mallah and other civil society representatives inaugurated the tribunal and the study booklet at Islamkot Press Club on Tuesday. Mohammad Ali Shah describing ‘Peoples Tribunal (Rajouni Kath) said the local communities of Thar were already suffering from forced displacement, encroachment on common grazing land, livelihood losses, water stress and air pollution induced by coal power project in Thar. He said the Peoples Tribunal had been formed by the people to get testimonies of the Thari people and put indictment over the responsible people for making the lives of Tharis miserable. To end the sufferings of Tharis, he demanded the government to adopt renewable energy projects and stop mining and import of coal for power generation. According to the research study of Lauri Mylllyvira of Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), emissions from a massive cluster of coal mines and power plants in Thar would expose the local population to serious health risks besides causing serious damage to the desert’s physical and natural environment. According to the study these emissions could cause 40,000 asthma emergency room visits, 19,906 new cases of asthma in children, 32,000 preterm births, 20 million days of work absence (sick leave), 57,000 years lived with disability related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and stroke and 29,000 air pollution-related deaths over the 30 year operating period of power projects. Since Pakistan is already suffering from air pollution levels that are among the highest in the world, the emissions induced by coal mines and power plants of Thar will further reduce life expectancy in the country, said the report. The Thar emissions would constitute one of the largest hotspots of mercury and carbon dioxide in South Asia. The coal power plants would emit an estimated 1,400 kg of mercury per year, of which one fifth would be deposited into land ecosystems in the region. Most of the deposition would take place onto cropland and increase the mercury concentrations in crops, the levels of mercury deposition are potentially dangerous in an area with 100,000 inhabitants. The study also points out errors and omissions in the data used in Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA ) reports of two coal power projects in Block-II and one in Block-VI as well as violations of Sindh Ambient Air Quality Standards and guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) and IFC.