Thar Coal can be gasified only after it has been mined. Dr Samar and his team have selected the experimental approach of Underground Coal Gasification ( UCG ) in which coal is not mined but ignited underground and gas is collected. Our Nuclear Scientists do not understand commercial discipline. There can be no project without audit and bankable feasibility.

His claims on a private TV channel of producing gas in one year to meet the country’s need if funded are misleading. UCG is an experimental technology, he has already wasted three years with missed deadlines in pursuing this approach. This detour should be professionally audited before moving forward. Enough time and resources have already been wasted. Mining and nuclear science have nothing in common.

DR FARID A. MALIK,

Lahore, January 4.