MITHI: Mining in Thar's 9,600 kilometre coal fields are gaining momentum after the arrival of experts from China.

After the arrival of China under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), work on two blocks and particularly on Block II has picked up pace.

Farhan Ahmed Ansari from Engro told Dawn.com that the arrival of Chinese engineers and technical staff has accelerated the pace of work on Block II. "More and more experts are arriving every day," he added.

Almost 3,000 technicians and engineers are expected to arrive on site to help locals in running the heavy machinery and developing open-pit mining.

Ansari said that over 80 per cent of landowners have been monetarily compensated for the lands aquired by Engro and the Thar Coal Authority.

The project's first phase involves the relocation of villagers from Sahri Dars and Tharyo Halepoto in Islamkot taluka. In order to evacuate the site chosen for open pit mining completely, villagers will we rehabilitated to nearby locations. Ansari claimed they will be provided with modern facilities, and given housing and employment.

Meanwhile, high school students are being trained in operational areas so they can be gainfully employed in the mega-project later.

The villagers of Sahri Dars and Tharyo Halepoto said they would resist if the commitments and promises made to them were not fulfilled. About 4,000 people are set to be relocated after their model houses are built.

An official from Thar Coal Mining Authority said that all preparations have been made for the inauguration of the country's mega-project, which comprises of 12 blocks on over 9,000 square km of Tharparkar district. Buried under this land lies an estimated 175 billion tones of coal.

Partab Shivani, a local activist in Mithi, hopes that the mega project brings prosperity to the backward region. He urges concerned authorities to keep their promises and feels that steps should be taken to ensure the environment, ecology, demography of the area.

A view of the site where a model park is being built in Thar. — Photo by author
A view of the site where a model park is being built in Thar. — Photo by author
A view of the coal fields in Thar where excacation work is underway. —Photo by the author
A view of the coal fields in Thar where excacation work is underway. —Photo by the author
A view of heavy machinery being used during the construction and excavation process at the coal fields in Thar. —Photo by the author
A view of heavy machinery being used during the construction and excavation process at the coal fields in Thar. —Photo by the author
A view of machinery being used for construction work at a mining pit in Thar. —Photo by the author
A view of machinery being used for construction work at a mining pit in Thar. —Photo by the author
A view of the coal fields in Thar where excacation work is underway. —Photo by the author
A view of the coal fields in Thar where excacation work is underway. —Photo by the author
Construction workers and experts can be seen in this picture at the coal fields in Thar.  —Photo by the author
Construction workers and experts can be seen in this picture at the coal fields in Thar. —Photo by the author
A view of the coal fields in Thar.  —Photo by the author
A view of the coal fields in Thar. —Photo by the author
A view of a runway under construction in Thar. — Photo by author
A view of a runway under construction in Thar. — Photo by author
A view of the coal fields in Thar.  —Photo by the author
A view of the coal fields in Thar. —Photo by the author

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Comments (25) Closed

Dannish
Jan 16, 2016 06:51pm
Excellent.
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Muslim Medina
Jan 16, 2016 10:18pm
A project when completed will bring prosperity not only to Thar area bot to entire Sindh region. The Chinese help will bring Pakistan in to modern times.
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tariq
Jan 16, 2016 10:54pm
they will take every thing for peanuts
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Sense
Jan 16, 2016 11:15pm
Why did it take this long ,should add a power plant every year
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Masood Husssain
Jan 16, 2016 11:46pm
Heartening.
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Something Fishy
Jan 17, 2016 12:12am
I hope the locals sincerely try to work at the project, whatever is the capacity, training and education of one, that will help to their generations. Instead of milking the company and spending a few years lazily and their next generations stays as poor and incapable.
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Salman
Jan 17, 2016 02:56am
While the signs of climate change are getting more and more evident every passing year... and there is a need to explore sustainable and renewable energy sources... we are moving towards the biggest culprit and contributor to global increase in CO2 level....the C.O.A.L. What an irony!
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Khwarezmi
Jan 17, 2016 04:40am
Coal is poison for the environment. China is the single largest coal burner in the world. The world we are leaving behind, other then wars and destruction, to future generations is a world of pollution, global warming, exhausted water/mineral/fishing/carbon fuel/bio diversity and general food sources. But who care for Earth's future when we can realise economic gains in our life time. For the note: I have read Muslim countries contribution to global warming is rather low compared to Europe, US, China and India.
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AH
Jan 17, 2016 06:22am
Hope the region will see prosperity and Pakistn will get energy from it.
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Simranjit singh Mann
Jan 17, 2016 09:56am
See the quality of the sign board !
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Ghalib Kamal
Jan 17, 2016 02:46pm
3000 Chinese workers sounds about right. The Chinese bring one person per task, there would be one person to tighten a bolt and another to loosen it etc.
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Lal Masjid Neighbor
Jan 17, 2016 09:11pm
it is all looking good
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Kazim
Jan 17, 2016 11:51pm
So in what way can this amount of natural resource be used for the society ?
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jugal kishore sharma
Jan 18, 2016 07:53am
Thar the name of biodiversities science,unique feature and land mass, Now Govt. Pakistan explore the power which there is huge crisis, but having the environment concern set a side. May i feet that coming out the result more crucial s too all of us. Lignite coal is a matter of low qualities and latest coal reserve but ultimate for environmental hazard, all over word like for avoid category
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Sim
Jan 18, 2016 08:38am
Ya Sure China will give Pakistan everything for free. Good Luck
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Maryam
Jan 18, 2016 08:45am
@tariq But Pakistanis themselves aren't willing to work to get even peanuts for themselves soo.. can't have an alternative over here
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Salman from Lahore
Jan 18, 2016 09:57am
What an irony.....it is like if someone has a land and he wants to make a house. China comes in and says oh you give me land and I will build you a house (with your resources = coal) and bring their own laborers (so no local jobs) then sell you again back brick by brick (electricity + pollution + diseases for local people). A better approach would have been involving a local investor with technology transfer plus a percent of local manpower and generate green electricity. Just to mention nobody in the world produces electricity from coal anymore except China due to environmental impact. People who say Pakistani engineers are not capable enough should shut all the universities and handover the country and all the real work to China and just sip tea at home and watch.
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Khusro
Jan 18, 2016 10:14am
@Ghalib Kamal Have you ever worked with Chinese, they are extremely hard working individuals and that's why there country is like this.
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Pakistani
Jan 18, 2016 10:28am
Please don't ignore the locals while inducting menial workforce, all such menial and janitory/clerical staff should be locally inducted, train them technically and introduce a preferential employment from local indigenous people of the area into managerial/technical cadre as well, unlike the usual trend of importing masses from north and central Pakistan into every single project.
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Syed
Jan 18, 2016 11:37am
@Salman from Lahore 60% of electricity in US comes from coal.
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Tufail Khan
Jan 18, 2016 12:15pm
@Khwarezmi With the current power and economic crisis, we are already leaving behind not enough for our future generations.
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Salman from Lahore
Jan 18, 2016 04:44pm
@Syed http://insideclimatenews.org/carbon-copy/18052015/coals-future-facing-three-hurdles-and-steady-decline-projections-epa-clean-power-plan?gclid=CjwKEAiAt_K0BRCzjtv92_HGoR0SJAA9QNn_cpKi-AMFkBwGkTQiInK5x8fTVo_LKeNYJ302DZh68BoCdXbw_wcB
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Ali
Jan 19, 2016 01:18am
more global warming
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Irfan
Jan 19, 2016 01:53am
This is one development sure to transform Pakistan into a tiger economy in times to come. It is bound to mitigate the severe and debilitating power cuts that the country is reeling under right now. Hats off to those who conceived this game changer project, and are ensuring its realization.
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Praveen
Jan 19, 2016 08:49am
I really commend to opt for clean source of energy, please learn from us. We have been extracting coal since century, and yes it gives you an economic growth. However we have lost 60% of plantation in order to extract coal. In long terms it is going to harm your nation, earth to be precise. I really wish if all the developing-nation join hands to come up with a clean and economical source of energy.
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