Thar coal mining and 660MW power project in Thar Block II will be completed ahead of the scheduled time; the commissioning date is set at 3rd June 2019, said the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Chief, Shamsuddin Ahmed Shaikh on Wednesday. “Despite declaring Gorano reservoir project technically and environmentally sound by the judicial committee of Sindh High Court, we are ready to talk with the protesters to remove their concerns which were created by misinformation”, he was addressing to an Iftar Dinner ceremony held in Mithi the other evening.
Sharing the details of the coal mining project, Mr. Shaikh said that the company has achieved 40 percent of mining and 33 percent progress on the power projects in 15 months after the financial closure achieved in April 2016.
“The total duration envisaged for completion of the project was set at 42 months, but the pace of the work ensures us of its completion in 38 months instead,” he added. He asserted that he strongly believes that benefits from the coal projects in Thar should go to the locals of Thar before the rest of the country and, that’s why, he added, the company has started interventions in education, health, livelihood, and drinking water sectors for the people of the area – and the schemes have already started benefiting the locales.
Member of Sindh Assembly from district Tharparkar, Dr. Mahesh Malani said that Thar Coal Block II project is one of the largest of the energy schemes of Pakistan and it is a blessing for the people of Thar.
Dr. Malani assured that Sindh Government through its elected representatives is ready to guarantee that no damage would occur to the locales living around the Gorrano Reservoir. He also said that the government was considering a package for the Gorrano community which would be announced soon.
Addressing the question pertaining to the technicalities of the Gorrano reservoir, he said that the feasibility study has been prepared by the reputable international firms and it is in no one’s favour to challenge their reports which have been carefully drafted after comprehensive research considering all aspects.
He said that contrary to the misconception spread by certain elements, the project shall benefit the Thar and Tharis on a large scale which would surely change the face of the area from being a poverty-stricken to a prosperous region.