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December 7, 2018

Thar coal project to be completed four months early, says CM

Karachi

December 7, 2018

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Thursday said the project of Thar coal mine and coal-fired power plants will be completed four months ahead of its schedule.

“Now we’re going to inject the first electron in the national grid in February,” the CM said while reviewing the progress of the project in Islamkot. He said the royalty of the project will be around Rs1.8 billion and will be spent on the development of Thar and its people.

Shah was informed that there has been an overall progress of 94 per cent in the mining work as opposed to the target of 88 per cent to be the met by the first week of December. He picked up a piece of coal and proudly termed it black gold.

He was also informed that 3,584 people are working on the project, of them 3,329 are Pakistanis, including 2,364 Tharis, and that the project’s cost was supposed to be $845 million, but $175 million have been saved.

The chief executive was told that the 660MW coal-fired power plant has been 96 per cent completed, with a workforce of 3,286: 1,070 Tharis, 1,479 Chinese and 744 other Pakistanis. After receiving a briefing on the project, CM Shah handed over a cheque of Rs50 million to the Thar Foundation CEO to provide fodder to 20,000 families of Islamkot taluka for their cattle.

Addressing Tharis and their elected representatives, Shah said the provincial government has spent Rs70 billion on the development infrastructure, airport and other projects started in Thar.

He also visited a kitchen garden pilot project at Thario Halepoto village. The garden comprises a small fish pond and vegetables being grown to meet the needs of two to three families. He said that such projects should be encouraged.

The chief executive said the Thar Foundation is constructing a 250-bed hospital for Rs2 billion, of which the government has already released Rs50 million. He added that the first block of 82 beds will be made functional by February.

He said that New Senhri Goth has been established for the displaced people of Thar Block-II, and that 172 families will be shifted there by December 20. CM Shah said the Thar Foundation is also setting up 25 schools, adding that the organisation has sent a batch of 90 children to do a three-year Diploma of Associate Engineering, and that overall 500 youth will be imparted such skilled education.

He told the media that infant mortality is a social issue. “Most of these infants were delivered at home and their parents took them to the hospital when their condition worsened.”

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