Islamabad September 7 2023: Pakistan is considering Thar Coal Rail Connectivity with existing Railway Network projects including last mile connectivity with Port Qasim worth PKR 55.97 billion to the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC).
The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) here on Thursday cleared this project in a meeting chaired by Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Dr Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan.
The Ministry of Railway is the sponsoring agency of the project, which aims at connecting the Thar Coal mines and Port Qasim with Railway through new Rail Links. It is aligned with sectoral objectives of Vision-2025 by providing bulk transportation facilities according to the requirement of the growing economy.
The project envisages construction of 105-Kilometer new single line Railway Track infrastructure from Thar Coal Mines to New Chhor Station and construction of 18-kilometer double-line track which includes 4.20-kilometer loop lines from Bin Qasim to the Port Qasim.
The project has been designed to provide reliable and efficient railway infrastructure to break the geographical barriers of Thar coal and enable its transportation across the country, providing an environment friendly mode of coal transportation.
If transported by railway, the environmental pollution will be minimal besides reducing traffic congestion on roads.
The project will enable utilization of indigenous Thar coal to bring import bill in line with the pillar of Pakistan Vision-2025 and expansion of Thar coal to rationalize fuel cost, reducing the power generation cost and ensuring uplift of local populace of Tharparkar through generation of royalty and job creation.
The coal demand in Pakistan is mainly driven by two major sectors including the Electricity and Cement industry. The demand for coal will further increase due to upcoming capacity additions in both the Power and Cement sectors.
With successful commercial operation of indigenous coal power plants in Thar coal fields, it is imperative that growing coal demand should be met through Thar coal to displace imported coal.
Such initiatives have already been noticed where upcoming coal-based power capacity addition is being designed on Thar coal.