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Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Keamari Coal Terminal, Pakistan

Heavy pollution of fishermen communities and neighborhoods around the Karachi Port by the Coal Terminal.


The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) is a federal government agency in Pakistan that oversees operations at the port of the city of Karachi in the Sindh region. In the town of Keamari, the main coastal town of Karachi in the western part of the city, the KPT operates a coal terminal. The company's handling of the coal and the terminal itself have been heavily criticized during the past few years for their negative impact on the environment.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Karachi Port Trust (KPT) Keamari Coal Terminal, Pakistan
State or province:Sindh
(municipality or city/town)Keamari, Karachi
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Pollution related to transport (spills, dust, emissions)
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Coal extraction and processing
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) transports the coal from the vessels to the Groyne yard via trucks to store it and handle it at their coal terminal. The Groyne yard has a capacity of storing around 700,000 tons of coal and usually keeps a maximum of 500,000 tons at all times. On average, five ships carrying 35,000 to 40,000 tons of coal berth every month and about 8,000 tons of coal are handled at the facility every day.

Project area:10 hectares
Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:At least 380,000
Start of the conflict:01/06/2014
Company names or state enterprises:Karachi Port Trust from Pakistan
Relevant government actors:Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)

Sindh High Court (SHC)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Industrial workers
Local government/political parties
Social movements
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsMarine wildlife loss.
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Other Health impactsRespiratory diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:At its last hearing on the case, in 2014, the Sidh High Court rejected the reports submitted by the SEPA and the KPT. It had earlier on directed KPT to take measures for the safe handling of coal within its terminal. The judges observed that their orders had not yet to be complied with and ordered the entities to submit compliance reports.

Even though a reduction of the coal handling and measures for a better handling of the coal have been proposed, the Court did not take any binding decisions and only ordered the filing of compliance reports by both parties. For now, no concrete measures have been taken to reduce the impacts of the coal handling on the residents of Keamari and neighboring areas.
Sources and Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Port Statistics, Karachi Port Trust,
[click to view]

KPT coal terminal violating environmental laws, SHC told, by Tahir Siddiqui, DAWN, 18 November 2014,
[click to view]

KPT's coal handling wreaks havoc on public health, environment, by Faiza Ilyas, Dawn, 29 June 2014,
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

KPT, Sepa told to submit compliance report on coal handling, The News International, 5 December 2014,
[click to view]

Safe handling: SHC rejects SEPA report on coal transportation, The Express Tribune, 6 December 2014,
[click to view]

A dusty fix: Residents of Keamari, Shireen Jinnah start campaign against coal transporters, by Sohail Khattak, The Express Tribune, 29 November 2014,
[click to view]

Keamari fishermen scared for health because of pollution
[click to view]

Uncovered transportation of coal clinker poses health hazards
[click to view]

Sepa approval of KPT’s coal handling operation fails to address public concerns
[click to view]

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Last update05/09/2015