Islamkot: February 7, 2017. (By Kalavanti Raja) Yesterday on Sunday, veteran leader Rasool Bux Palijo has started Long March under slogan of “Save Sindh” from Islamkot to Karachi to protest against controversial Gorano Dam and other Sindh issues. Several thousands of people from various parts of Thar and workers of Awami Tahreek and Sindhiyani Tahreek gathered at Islamkot, staged 05 hours demonstration and started march towards Mithi and onward to Karachi carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogan against anti people projects of dams and townships and chanting rhythmic slogan. “Gorano Dam is death warrant for Thar”.
Despite local landlords and Government pressure, long march received a tremendous response from people of all walks of life. This is 06th Long March by Awami Tahreek led by Rasool Bux Palijo and is planned for 500 Kilometer distance on foot from Islamkot Thar to Karachi to be covered in 32 days.
Mr. Rasool Bux Palijo is the one people leader who always picked the real issues of people for struggle. The Gorano Valley is the area of natural water resources, thick population, widespread agriculture and livelihood. Dam is proposed on 1500 acres of land and requires immediate resettlement/ destructions of 12 villages, pasture areas and cultivatable lands. Beside this immediate upset, this dam would cause unprecedented devastation of vast fertile area of Thar in near future and would wreak havoc for ecology, environment and demographics of area.
Experts declaring that there are 03 layers of subsoil water in the area; potable water is in first layer up to 150 feet depth then starts salt and up to third layer it becomes poisonous like seawater. Reservoir’s depth is up to third layer to store water for boilers and store wastewater as well. Through water streams in soil , it would make sub soil water of vast area hazardous up to 5000 TDS and infertile land in 50-kilometer radius, which spread hazard to life, livelihood, historical sites, grazing lands and ultimately pose migration of inhabitants from ancestral abodes. On the other hand 08 salt mines are available nearby as an alternate.
In apropos, it is clear violation of International human rights, international biodiversity laws and local land acquisition laws. Thus dam is deadly and anti local people and its game of investors.
Honouable Rasool Bux Palijo in press briefing at start of Long March made clear that “we are not against the development of Thar but not on the cost of devastation of life and livelihood of original natives. He warned Sindh Government not to play in the hands of coal companies on this serious issue and demanded to shift this hazardous project away from human settlements and livelihood. He also warned for dire consequences if genuine problems of people were not addressed and Governments would not adopted people friendly policies”.