Coal mines safety

June 16, 2020


I WAS appalled to read about the state of miners in Shangla in the report ‘Fade to black’ (Eos, May 31)

As a safety engineer, I can empathise with these poor labourers who often work long hours in dangerous conditions just to feed their families.

Almost all of these miners come from far-off areas for the sake of their families’ better future. Yet they are exploited mercilessly by the operators of unregistered mines in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is the responsibility of the respective provincial government to ensure the strict implementation of the existing laws. This is the best prescription to avoid the increasing number of coal mine incidents, injuries/illness and deaths.

I would like to point out the story of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC), a joint venture between the Sindh government and the private sector.

This organisation is a good example of how safety standards can be implemented at a mining site. This site has one of the best safety records as the implemented policies and guidelines that it follows the best global practices.

It is critical that the concerned officials conduct regular mine inspections to check upon their compliance with regulations, and penalise companies that are found violating them.

One hopes the concerned provincial government implements laws to ensure a safer and more progressive future for miners.

Engineer Imran Sadiq

Published in Dawn, June 16th, 2020