IN what could be described as a truly important initiative to bring to use the precious and untapped coal reserves at Thar, the Ministry of Railways and Sindh government have signed an MOU to link Thar Coal Mine Reserves with the railways system.
This will ensure transportation of Thar Coal to the coal fuelled power plants in different parts of the country.
In our view, this project should have been envisaged and initiated at a time when these coal-fired power plants were being established in the country.
Doing so would have helped the country tap the true potential of Thar coal reserves as well as have saved valuable foreign exchange currently being spent on the import of coal.
Undoubtedly when these coal-powered projects were being installed, the country was faced with severe power outages but if our planners and government officials would have demonstrated farsightedness and simultaneously started work on linking Thar Coal Reserves with these power plants, our energy sector today would not have been faced with issues such as circular debt and an inexpensive electricity would have also been available to the consumers.
Anyway as the project has been initiated, this should be completed on a fast track basis. The Prime Minister has also directed to complete it by 23rd March next year.
We are confident that this project will also be completed at a speed, which is the hallmark of Shehbaz Sharif as during his stint as Punjab Chief Minister, several projects of national importance were completed in record period.
We have no doubt in saying that the commissioning of this project will usher in a new era of development in the country as it would save billions of rupees spent annually on the import of costly coal to meet the requirements of the energy sector.
Given the vast coal reserves lying at Thar, we will also suggest the government to also initiate projects to produce gas and diesel from them. Help in this regard can be sought from Chinese friends.
We believe that full utilization of these reserves can make the country self-sufficient in energy which will help the country address its economic woes.