KARACHI- The Sindh Cabinet, which met under the Chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Tuesday, approved joint venture between Sindh govt and Engro Pakistan on 60-40 basis to exploit Thar Coal for power generation. The spade work for the project is expected to be completed in 18 to 24 months and the work on the project would be initiated afterwards. Briefing the media shortly after the Cabinet meeting, Sindh Minister for Information Shazia Marri said under the joint venture 1.1 billion dollars will be invested on the mining side and 2.2 billion dollars on the power side of the project. The project, she said, will generate around 600 to 1000 Megawatt electricity per annum. The construction work of airport at Islamkot has been started while Railways was busy in preparing feasibility report and a study is being carried out to provide 250 cusec water to Islamkot, she said. Elaborating, she said that the Cabinet has granted approval to the joint venture after looking into the pros and cons and now it will go to the Thar Coal Energy Board for implementation. She said that it was the dream of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto which could not be materialised because the democratic process was derailed. Now the democratic govt was in power so both Sindh and Federal govt were striving to proceed on the Thar Coal to exploit the black gold to produce energy, she added. She said that most of the countries in the world depend on coal energy but we have not even explored 0.1 per cent of coal for generating energy. She said that we should explore coal energy sector which will help generate energy to cater to our needs and also help open up new vistas of job opportunities and bring prosperity in Sindh. She said the other item which the Cabinet granted approval was Sindh Public- Private Partnership Draft Bill to open up doors for private sector to play its role in nation building. She said that development all over the world have been achieved through public- private partnership. The govt is following the same pattern and inviting private enterprises to share the development work with the govt, she said, adding, that the immediate benefit of this partnership was construction of Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas dual carriage way. Keenjhar, Khirthar, Gorak Hill, Sindh Seed Corporation and Higher Educational Institutions are the projects being commissioned under public-private partnership, she added. Responding to a query, she said that currently the investment was coming from local private sector. She said that the investors needed protection for their investment so the bill was aimed at to providing protection to the investors. She said that President Asif Ali Zardari had taken initiatives regarding public- private partnership. Shazia Marri said that Cabinet has approved another draft bill of Health Ministry for imposing ban on used disposable syringes. The Cabinet approved establishment and management of wholesale bulk market Act 1939 tabled by Agriculture Ministry. She said that the amendments suggested in the Act 1939 were aimed at to provide direct benefits to the farmers by eliminating the role of middlemen. The Cabinet granted approval for upgradation of Shahdatkot taluka hospital and agro-forestry lease policy, through which 610 acres of more land in Thatta district would be leased out. Shazia Marri said that Cabinet has awarded university status to Peoples Medical College, and has approved the Peoples Medical University for Women Benazirabad Bill 2009. She said that Sindh Home Minister Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza briefed the Cabinet about recent police action against criminals and criminal gang in Lyari and killing of Rehman Dacait. The Cabinet appreciated the efforts of Home Department and the police in the maintenance of law and order in the province particularly in Lyari and reiterated that no one would be allowed to take law into his hand. The govt would maintain law and order and provide protection to people and their property at any cost. The Cabinet offered fateha for Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. The Cabinet strongly condemned Gojra incident and offered two minutes silence for the victims. Responding to another question, she said that govt will ensure that the prices were not increased during holy month of Ramazan and in this regard the Chief Minister had directed all DDOs and concerned officials to keep vigilant eye on the prices during Ramazan.