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December 9, 2018

CM announces Rs10,000 monthly stipend for displaced families of Thar Coal Block II


December 9, 2018

Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved a one-time Rs950 million grant to pay monthly stipends of Rs10,000 to the people displaced or affected by the Thar Coal Block II.

The CM took the decision while presiding over a high level meeting to review water and rehabilitation schemes of Tharparkar at the CM House on Saturday.

As many as 1,200 families have been displaced due to the development of the Thar Coal Block II, the CM said. “We have decided to support them financially in addition to providing them a well-designed and well-constructed house in a township with all the basic facilities such as kitchen, washrooms, corridor, veranda and courtyard,” he added.

Shah also pledged to provide more than two jobs to each of the affected families. The CM directed the Thar Foundation to invest the grant of Rs950 million in the market and start giving a monthly stipend of Rs10,000 to each of the affected families of the Thar Coal Block-II.

Energy Minister Imtiaz Shaikh informed the CM that 60 houses had been completed to resettle the affected families and work on the remaining houses was in progress.

The CM also decided that the royalty to be generated from the coal projects, which had been estimated at Rs2.5 billion, would be spent on the uplift of the people of Thar. “Thar will turn out to be one of the most prosperous regions of the world,” he said, adding that schemes similar to those designed for the affected people of Block-II would also be announced for the affected people of the other blocks of the Thar coal project.

The meeting was informed that the coalfield in Thar spread over 9,000 square kilometres and had been divided into 12 blocks.

The other important project discussed in the meeting was the Thar Coal Water Works project which would supply water to Block II for power generation. The cost of the scheme had been estimated at Rs9.9 billion.

The CM said water of the Left Bank Outfall Drain (LBOD) was being polluted by the effluent of sugar mills. The CM constituted a committee under the energy minister to meet the management of sugar mills releasing their effluent in the LBOD in various districts and direct them to treat their effluent before releasing it into the canal.

“I want them [sugar mills] to establish treatment plants and release treated water into the LBOD,” Shah said, directing the energy minister to update him on the matter within 15 days. The CM added that if treated effluent from sugar mills was released into the LBOD, the cost of the water works project would come down from Rs9.9 billion to Rs4 billion.

The CM said he would be visiting Thar off and on to monitor progress in the uplift schemes for Thar.

The meeting was also attended by Planning and Development Board Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to the CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Irrigation Secretary Jamal Shah, Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) Chairman Khursheed Jamali and others.

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