ISLAMKOT: Terming it an unprecedented policy in the history of Pakistan, the Sindh government on Tuesday announced that the project affectees of Thar Coal Block-II have been made shareholders from the profits of the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC).
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah made the announcement during a fifty percent completion ceremony of the mining and power projects underway at Thar coal field’s Block- II.
The Thar Coal Project, undertaken by SECMC, is a public-private partnership body in which the Sindh government holds 54 percent shares. Engro Powergen Thar has achieved 50 percent completion four months ahead of schedule.
“We will be able to reach at the coal reserves by June 2019,” said CM Sindh adding that the project will start generating electricity in June 2019.
“History will bear witness to the future generations that the peoples’ government of Sindh is the first to pull the country out of the energy crisis, and Thar coal project is the harbinger of a better economic future of Pakistan,” he expressed.
CM Sindh also announced a scheme to make the indigenous communities shareholders.
He also announced that the affected population of Gorano and Dukarcho reservoir scheme will also receive decent compensation package for the period of thirty years.
The chief minister said that around 1700 people of the area of Thar Coal Block-II have been affected with the establishment of Thar coal mining project.
“We have already managed to provide them shelter, a separate house to each affected couple, with all the basic facilities of quality education, best health care services, safe drinking water, and sanitation,” he said and added a mosque and temple are being constructed there to practice their respective faiths.
CM Sindh said that each affected family will receive at least Rs. 100,000 share each year and the amount would be kept on increasing.
“We have provided jobs to the affected families in the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC) and even women of the area have been employed there,” he said.
“The concerned population of Gorano and Dukarcho scheme will also get a decent compensation package for 30 years along with health, education and drinking water facilities.”
SECMC’s Chief Operating Officer, Shamsuddin Ahmad Shaikh speaking during the ceremony said the mine of Thar Block-II with 1×1.6-kilometer area is the largest mine in the country.
“The company has removed over burden from the mine and has reached the depth of 90-meter deep. It means that 50 percent work has been completed,” he said.
“For us as a company, the development of country through this project is aligned with the prosperity of the area. The project, for me, loses its meaning the moment is trajectory is not in sync with the welfare of the people of the area,” Shaikh asserted.
He said the company formed the Thar Foundation, to work solely for the socioeconomic benefit of the Thari people, and have established a state-of-the-art 150-bed hospital at Islamkot, three secondary level schools at Islamkot, Mithi and the resettlement area with the support of TCF.
Furthermore, three new primary schools are imparting quality education in the villages Thahryo Helepoto, Mansigh Bheel, and Bitra of Block II. He added that it was their aim to make Islamkot ‘a model taluka of Sindh in healthcare services.’
President of Engro Corporation, Ghias Khan said it was heartening to witness the 50 percent completion of Pakistan’s first ever open pit coal mine and 2×330 MW coal fired power plant in Thar, which was achieved four months ahead of schedule and safely without any Lost Workday Injury.
He said that Engro and government of Sindh were the two original joint venture partners when SECMC was formed back in 2009, but it took seven long years to develop the project termed as a project of national and strategic importance, and the entire nation realises that Thar Coal is vitally important to Pakistan’s energy security
“Government of Sindh has been a great partner for us and let me very clearly state that dealing with government of Sindh on Thar Coal Project has been completely transparent, fair and based on merit which are also the hallmarks of Engro,” he stated.