The Sindh government has opposed the Thar Coal project led by Dr Samar Mukarakmand over the objection that the gasification method would pollute underground water and would have a detrimental effect on environment. It is a reflection of the same argument that regards coal extraction for energy purpose as harmful, especially against the backdrop of global warming. However, the underground water that is thought to be in danger of being toxified as a result of gasification is already unfit for human consumption. Shelving a project of such importance merely for this reason is unjust.

Secondly, the method of extraction that Dr Mubarakmand would be adopting is being used all over the world and hence can be trusted as reliable. Countries like China have been using their coal reserves to get energy and run their economy without much environmental pollution. Since the project is of utmost importance given the energy crisis, it would be unfortunate if it was politicised like Kalabagh Dam that has been strongly opposed by Sindh. It is encouraging that Punjab has favoured the Thar Coal project. Cheap and sufficient coal energy will fulfil Sindh’s power shortage as well as help the rest of the country grapple with the scourge. Objections like environment hazard, without the proper research having gone into them, are lame excuses that support Dr Mubarakmand’s complaint that the oil and commission mafia is against it.

Both the Sindh and federal governments must instead make the required funds available.