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Thar coal project

May 18, 2012

NUCLEAR scientist Dr Samar Mubarakmand has said that four more wells of the Thar coal project had been set on fire and as a result gas production from these would begin from next week. A flame would be lit from gas as emissions begin from these wells towards the end of May. According to Dr Samar Mubarakmand, through the Thar coal project electricity would be generated at Rs4 per unit while the rental furnace oil plants cost Rs20 per unit on … average. He further said that 10,000MW of electricity could be generated daily through Thar coal reserves. A number of foreign companies, including those of China, had expressed interest to invest in the … project.

In response to the assertion of a Planning Commission member that the venture was unfeasible, Dr Samar said that the … project was making progress ‘successfully’. From the Thar coal reserves, 10,000MW … [could] be generated for 30 years if the government continued financial assistance. Planning Commission member Shahid Sattar should desist from becoming more loyal than the king. According to Dr Samar, Shahid Sattar has neither visited the Thar coal project nor [does he have] any knowledge about it. He has been labelling a project of national interest unfeasible….

One should be very careful while commenting on such matters. Putting hurdles in the execution of the Thar coal project by stopping timely release of funds and … declaring it unfeasible seems to be part of the strategy of the powerful oil lobby that has become active to bulldoze this project…. The government should accept … Dr Samar’s [offer] and ensure the required funds … but the rulers seem least interested in providing relief to the nation. In the wake of the … energy crisis, the government should have curtailed its expenditures on non-development activities [as well as] foreign tours and diverted the funds thus saved towards the Thar coal project … — (May 17)

Selected and translated by Zaheer Mahmood Siddiqui.