HYDERABAD, (Pakistan Point News - 03rd Nov, 2016 ) : The Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company Limited (SECMC) has pledged to provide socio-economic opportunities to the people of Tharparkar specifically the communities that host the Thar coal project. According to a press released issued here on Thursday, the company said it was hopeful to resolve the grievances of the people who were being affected by the project through favorable policies. It observed that some members of the community had shared reservations regarding the progress of the project specially in the wake of the construction of a water reservoir at Ghorano site adding that SECMC was cognizant of those concerns.
"The Company reiterates that all due concerns of the local population will be given importance and in this regard the company has already commenced work as per the lucrative land compensation policy announced by the Government of Sindh. We will provide rightful land owners with compensation against the land owned at Ghurano, in addition to construction of schools, hospitals and provision of merit-based jobs" the SECMC announced. "The progress on the SECMC project is in full swing and we are working towards alleviating the issues that some individuals in the local community have regarding the construction of the water reservoir," Shamsuddin Shaikh, CEO of SECMC, said in his statement.
He observed that many members from the same community appreciate the efforts of the company and had even accepted the land award policy and received the due payments. However, some members had concerns which the company was willing to address together with all concerned parties including the public representatives. According to him, the Ghurano water reservoir was being constructed on a total land area of approximately 1500 acres out of which 532 acres were private land owned by local populace.
He informed that a land award had been announced on October 27 and so far SECMC had made payment of Rs33.5 million to the rightful owners for 110 acres of the private land. Furthermore, the water in the reservoir would be used for bio-saline agriculture which would potentially irrigate vast areas of Tharparkar, he added. He apprised that in that regard the Company was in talks with Chinese Agricultural Sciences Institute for assistance and technology transfer for the venture.
Shaikh said the Company realized its social responsibility towards the Ghurano community and planned to install 5 Reverse Osmosis (RO) plants in the area to provide clean drinking water to the local communities., adding that one RO plant had been constructed so far. "It is important to highlight that while this project is of national significance, but it is equally significant for people of Thar who are already benefiting by provision of better socio-economic prospects owing to the project," he observed. According to him, the SECMC provided employment to locals which constitute more than 50% of the company's workforce at various levels.