Thar coal project most feasible option to overcome energy crisis: Say experts

ISLAMABAD, Nov. 29(INP) – Thar coal, a cost effecting- project is the most feasible option for the government to overcome crucial energy problem, experts said.  Addressing a seminar held here,  former director general Survey of Pakistan Sayed Hasan Guhar, ex-member Planning Commission Pervez Butt and President of Institution of Engineers Pakistan Islamabad-Rawalpindi chapter Engr. Hussain Ahmed Siddiqui said that coal reserves have the capability to produce 50,000 MW of energy which can easily cope with the difficulty the country is facing. It will take a one-time initial expense, and as a result the country can become self-sufficient in power production.

The seminar, organized by IEP –Islamabad center (IEP-RIC) was attended by high-ranking engineers and experts who during their deliberations and question-answer session recommended to the government to undertake the project on priority basis, since this is only solution to give relief to the people from persistent load-shedding.

The speakers were of the view that a political decision is required at the government level to avail this option. Hydel and nuclear power projects will  take atleast five to eight years to get operational and moreover the electricity from these sources will also be much expensive. In such a situation, electricity cost will go beyond the reach of the common man.

In his key-note address, Sayad Hasan Gauhar emphasized that government should attract investors from home and abroad by giving them maximum incentives for this lucrative project. The project could be turned into profitable in a short span of time. He hoped, it would create large-scale employment opportunities for the local people as well.

Pervaiz Butt was of the view that the professionals and technical experts should be involved in executing such mega projects. “ Proper skill, expertise and knowledge are pre-requisite for this purpose”, they added.

To a question, Sayad Hasan Gauhar said environmental hazards as the result of coal consumption could be controlled with proper planning, through use of latest technology.

Gauhar was one of the three team member that were entrusted with the task to produce the first country report on coal titled coal resources of Pakistan.

Between the years 1998 and 2003,he guided the GSP’s coal exploration program in the Tharparkar regions Sindh and acted as the chairman,Technical committee on the implementation of Thar coal project.

He further said Pakistan is blessed with enormous coal resources of 185,174 million tons,one of the world’s largest coal deposits. Measured coal resrves are over 3,400 million tons,of which 60% are mine-able reserves at present,located in all the four provinces and the azad jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

President IEP-Rawalpindi-Islamabad Centre Hussain Ahmed Saddiqui said that the recommendations of the seminar will be forward to the government for consideration.

INP

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