Local people in Kalay town in Sagaing Region staged a protest yesterday, calling for a ban on construction of a coal-fired power plant and a supply of electricity from the national grid.

The demonstration was organised by the Upper Chindwin Youth Network, ’88 Generation Peace and Open Society (Kalay) and 8888 Force.

“We want to have electricity supply (from the national grid) quickly. We don’t want to build a coal-fired power station. Gangaw in Chin State close to us already enjoys 24-hour power. This is why we are staging a protest,” Kyaw Thet Win from Upper Chindwin Youth Network said.

“They (successive governments) have said public demands would be met. But there is no practical action. If such action is underway, we are in protest to push for speeding up that action. This is our public voice so that it can be heard by the government.”

Nyi Nyi Tun from 88’ Generation said Kalay was badly in need of electricity as it was a big city with three universities and other facilities such as hospitals. Local residents, however, did not want to see a coal-fired power plant for power supply, he said.

An official from the Myanmar Electricity Supply Enterprise said that work had begun to supply power through the national grid.