Thar Coal project gets a new impetus
No one would dispute assessment of the Prime Minister that Thar Coal is future of Pakistan and that its fuller exploitation would bring prosperity not only for local region and Sindh but also the entire country. This is because these largest deposits of coal in the world have the potential to generate over one hundred thousand megawatts of cheaper electricity besides producing diesel. One can imagine the true potential of this natural gift from the fact that only one block would produce two billion barrels of diesel. Proper exploitation of these reserves would change fate of the country as it would not only help overcome energy crisis impeding economic development but also save billions of dollars currently being spent on import of oil. The project should have received priority but unfortunately we are still at the rudimentary stage of exploitation even after over a decade. Initially, there were questions relating to ownership of the deposits but that having been addressed and the ownership given to the province, it is strange that the project is still facing impediments due to resistance and propaganda by the vested interests that are creating an impression as if the project was not feasible and just wastage of time and resources. It is this mafia that successfully blocked release of committed funding for coal gasification project, which is being implemented by Dr Samar Mubarakmand and his team. According to Dr Samar, the Thar Coal project is so promising that companies from around the world are ready to make investments without seeking even sovereign guarantee from Government of Pakistan. But despite all that, only three companies have so far started work, which speaks volumes about bureaucratic hurdles that need to be addressed on priority basis. The basic obligation is that of the Sindh Government that should not only allocate necessary resources for completion of infrastructure facilities in the region but also overcome bureaucratic hurdles. Given the fact that PPP has its own Governments both at the Centre and in Sindh, there seems to be no justifiable reason for lack of required progress during the last four years and snailís pace movement in future.