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Sindh govt to audit Thar coal projects for safety, jobs

By Imtiaz Hussain
October 26, 2021

SUKKUR: Thar Coal projects will be audited for safety and human resource compliance to ensure locals are getting their fair share of employment, a provincial minister said on Monday.

“To supply coal from Thar to different parts of the country, a survey has been completed for the 105-kilometer railway line project from Islamkot to Chorr,” said Imtiaz Shaikh, Sindh Minister for Energy, while visiting Thar Coal Projects. He was accompanied by Provincial Assembly members, Qasim Siraj Soomro and Zia Lanjar, PPP District President Senator Gayanchand, Special Assistant to Chief Minister Veerji Kolhi, and Deputy Commissioner Tharparkar, Muhammad Nawaz Soho.

The delegation visited the Mining Project of Thar Coal Block II and held meetings with women dump truck drivers and local Thari engineers and also went to Thar Foundation Hospital and primary schools.

At Thar Coal Block II, the minister was briefed by the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), Amir Iqbal, Thar Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Naseer Memon at Thar Coal Block II.

“Following observations received from various quarters, Energy Department has decided to carry out a detailed third-party audit of safety and local employment issues,” Shaikh said while talking to a group of journalists.

He said the ratio of employment from Tharparkar district in Thar Coal projects in Thar should be improved further and for this purpose, a detailed third-party audit be carried out.

The minister reiterated party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Chief Minister Sindh’s stance to provide royalty from Thar Coal to the district of Tharparkar to develop underdeveloped areas and its human development indicators.

“Government of Sindh has not received profit and royalty from its Thar Coal projects so far and upon receiving royalty, it shall be spent through various development schemes of Thar,” the minister added.

Responding to a question on the functioning of RO (reverse osmosis) Plants in Thar, the minister said the provincial government was working to rehabilitate the drinking water plants of Islamkot Taulka in the first phase. “In the first phase, we will hand over RO Plants of Taulka of Islamkot to Thar Foundation, as they are already successfully ensuring drinking water delivery in its beneficiary areas,” the minister said.

Earlier, the delegation also visited under construction Thar Coal Project Block I where they held meetings with management and the locals of the area.