LAHORE – Punjab Government is planning to generate electricity from the coal existing in the Salt Range of the province.

In order to the review ways and means to scientifically use large resources of coal to produce power, a high-level meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was held which was also attended by Principal Consultant to Australian company, SNOWDEN Ross Broadlely, Grant Vane Heerden, Business Development Manager of Australian Trade Commission Punjab Imran Saeed, Provincial Minister for Mines & Minerals Ch Abdul Ghafoor, Chairman Punjab Mineral Company Mian Muhammad Mansha, Chairman Planning & Development, PU Vice chancellor, secretaries of Finance, Energy, Mines, DG Mines and others concerned. The Australian consultant briefed the meeting in detail on drilling and data collection at salt range.

While speaking to the participants, the CM said that there was a large reserve of coal in the salt range of Punjab, which could be developed in a scientific manner and utilised for energy purposes.

He said that the wheel of economy was slow due to energy crisis while electricity could be generated by using coal reserves. He directed that recommendations should be submitted within seven days for development of mining areas.

While underscoring the need of improving the mining sector at national level, the CM called for introducing new courses and training at mining school. He directed concerned authorities to utilise modern machinery for excavating coal in the Salt Range, besides developing mining areas on scientific lines.

Meanwhile, an MoU was signed between Punjab government, Punjab University and UET to increase cooperation in mineral development sector. The MoU was signed on behalf of Punjab government by Secretary Mines and Minerals while Vice Chancellors of Punjab University and UET signed on behalf of their respective institutions. According to MoU, Punjab government, PU and UET would work jointly for mineral development, besides collaborating in preparing international quality workforce in this regard. According to MoU, all signatories would extend cooperation to each other for geological sciences, coal technology, mining and development other projects.