KARACHI - Sindh Minister for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh on Friday chaired a meeting of the Board of Directors of Sindh Lakhra Coal Mining Company at the office of Sindh Energy Department. Executive Officer Khadim Hussain Channa and other officers of the Board participated in the meeting. The participants of the meeting agreed to expand the scope of the company to the coal mines located in other areas of Sindh.

They also agreed to remove the word “Lakhra” from the present name of the company to bring the coal mines in other parts of the province under the jurisdiction of the Company, so as to extend its scope to the coals mines situated in parts of Sindh. In the meeting, Sindh Energy Minister directed that rescue centers should be made mandatory at all places where coal mining is taking place and doctors, computer, medicine, ambulance, drivers should be provided in every rescue center. Relevant staff and other necessary equipment should be provided and this work should be done on a war footing so that the workers performing duties in the coal mines and the local residents can be provided proper medical facilities and in case of any untoward incident the affected people could be provided immediate relief.

The Sindh Energy Minister said that necessary steps should be taken for the training of miners with regard to safety measures. Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh also directed that scope of safety audit of all coal mines should be further extended because only the coal mines in Tharparkar are being surveyed at the moment, therefore, the scope of this safety audit should be extended to Lakhra and Jhampir, and the audit report should brief how many workers are working in which mine and what safety measures are taken there as per the regulations.

He said that the report of safety audit should be sent to the office of Sindh Energy Department on monthly basis. He further said that the safety of miners is the joint responsibility of all other stakeholders including owners of the mines and we have to take all possible steps to ensure the health and safety of our miners.

He said that if there is no Health and Safety Institute in the province, then necessary steps should be taken to set up a Health and Safety Institute and in the meantime send its miners to Punjab for training.

The Minister also directed the participants to ensure arrangements for school, dispensary and other necessary facilities at the mines sites.