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Thousands of workers become jobless as Govt imports coal from abroad

By:  Mir Hazar Khan Baloch

QUETTA: Importing coal from abroad has devalued the coal of Balochistan. Thousands workers, associated with this industry have become jobless.

60-years-old Mohammad Yaqoob, working as mine worker since childhood, expressed his grief by telling that mine workers put their lives in danger by working hard and bringing sack of coal from thousands feet down of mines, but our lives have no guarantees, and anything could be happened.

According to Pakistan’s energy’s annually published book, 6.6 energy is generated by coal but now Pakistan is importing coal from south Africa, Indonesia and Australia which caused losses to coal mines owners and laborers as well.

Taj Mohammad, In charge of a coal mine of Mach, Balochistan, where 200 workers work with him, told: “Because of supplying coal from abroad, hundreds tons of coal is dumped in my depot and I am waiting for purchasers.”

Iftikhar Baloch, an expert of minerals department Balochistan, expressed his views that importing coal from abroad by the government had caused loss not only of mine owners and workers but also federal government itself.”

The officials of Mineral Services’ department also acknowledged the closure of large number of coal mines. They told that only 50% of coal mines are closed in Mach, the area of coal mining industries with 40 thousand jobs, and 20 thousand workers are become jobless.

Mines inspector, Rasheed  Abro told that according to experts Sor Range-Deghari Coal field coal could be used to generate energy in small thermal power houses.

According to Government of Balochistan, there are 5 coal fields in Balochistan. The estimated reserves of all the coal fields are 217 million tons, such as, Much Abegum 23 million tons, Khost-Shahrig-Harnai 76 million tons, Sor-Range-Degari-Sinjidi 50 million tons, Dukki 51 million tons,Pir Ismail Ziarat 12 million tons, Chamalong 50 million tons.

Published in The Balochistan Point on May 19,2017.

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