Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif believes that the extension project of the rail link to the Thar coal mines will provide effective coal transportation and assist generate affordable power.
At the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Railways, the Government of Pakistan, and the Government of Sindh about the connection of Thar coal to the current network of Pakistan Railways, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif spoke.
According to him, the MoU would ensure its effective conveyance and support the creation of low-cost power.
The supply from the coal mines would be secured to the coal-fired power plants and other connected plants like cement production units, according to PM Sharif, through the establishment of an effective railway network.
He stated that the project would play a significant role in the delivery of cheap power and that it would save billions of rupees that are annually spent on the import of expensive coal to meet the needs of the energy sector.
According to him, the federal and Sindh governments joined forces to sign the MoU and expressed the hope that it would be put into effect by March 2023, allowing coal to be transported to all areas of the nation.
The project, according to the prime minister, will usher in an economic revolution across the nation. He noted that similar development projects were carried out under the administrations of former president Asif Ali Zardari and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
He regretted that there were such severe economic shocks and added that Pakistan would not have faced such challenges on the domestic and external fronts if it had been followed by the previous government.
Although it was never too late to make amends, the prime minister emphasised that they needed to put aside their personal preferences in order to serve the country and that the signing of the MoU was a monument to a live nation.
He claimed that the Thar reserves were a national treasure and that they could generate millions of megawatts (MW) of electricity for the next 300 years.
He noted that since the nation was importing expensive coal and spending billions of rupees annually, it would lessen the strain on the foreign reserves.
Saad Rafique, the Minister of Railways, declared the event to be historic because the MoU will allow Thar coal to be used.
He stated that despite the present challenges, it was positive that both the provincial and federal governments agreed to cooperate and raise money for the project.
The minister said that Thar’s coal deposits were among the best in the world and could provide all of the nation’s needs.
He claimed that a 105 kilometre green link will save billions of dollars by connecting the coal mines with Port Qasim, the Jamshoro power plant, and other power plants.
He added that the project’s original cost was projected to be Rs. 55 billion, but they would endeavour to reduce costs. He further reaffirmed their commitment to finishing the project as soon as possible.