Pakistan News

Thar has first right on coal and electricity produced by it, says governor

Thar has first right on coal and electricity produced by it, says governor

MITHI: Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair has said that Tharis have the first right over huge coal reserves and thereby Thar should have a share in the electricity produced by the coal underneath its soil.

“All villages falling within Thar coalfield spread over 9,100 square kilometres will be provided electricity and work on their electrification will begin soon,” he added.

The governor told journalists on Saturday after inaugurating TCF School Engro Campus in Islamkot established by Thar Foundation of the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) that the coal-produced electricity would be added to national grid to light up the country’s households and energise industries.

He said the federal government should contribute to development of Thar coalfield so that work on various ongoing projects could be completed before scheduled time. He would take up Thar’s issues with the federal government, he said.

Mr Zubair said that huge coal reserves and mega projects would change the destiny of locals and greatly help the government overcome power crisis, which had impeded the country’s march to progress.

He lauded efforts of the SECMC to provide jobs to Thari women and said persons like Ms Kiran Sadhwani, the first Thari engineer employed by the mining firm, and female truck drivers were role models for women of Sindh and the whole country.

He said that the work being undertaken in the areas of health, education, livelihood and agriculture and women empowerment would herald a time in near future when Tharparkar would be known as a flourishing and prosperous region of Sindh.

The governor visited Pakistan’s first open-pit coal mine at Block-II and adjoining power plant, model house and green park and also marked the 100 meter depth inside the pit by unveiling a ceremonial plaque.

He said the Thar Foundation’s work in the sectors of health, education, livelihood, and agriculture was unprecedented and should be expanded to encompass the entire Islamkot taluka and not just Block-II.

He said in answer to a question that new chairman of National Accountability Bureau should be allowed to work without any hindrance or criticism. Those who were playing politics over the arrest of former Sindh minister Sharjeel Inam Memon were completely wrong, he said.

Earlier, the governor met Kiran Sadhwani and was briefed about the progress on the under-construction 660MW power plant and 100 meters achievement of the coalmine.

SECMC chief executive officer Shamsuddin Ahmad Shaikh informed the governor during the briefing that their aim was to turn project affectees into project beneficiaries.

He said that Sindh government had divested its shares to the beneficiaries of Thar Coal Block-II project, which was an unprecedented move in the development history of Pakistan.

The governor was accompanied during the visit by Dawood Group chairman Hussain Dawood, Engro Corporation president Ghias Khan, Mirpurkhas Com­m­issioner Shafiq Ahmed Mahesar, Mirpur­khas DIG Mazhar Nawaz Shaikh, Tharparkar deputy commissioner and officials of the SECMC, EPTL and Thar Foundation.

Published in Dawn, October 29th, 2017

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