MITHI - Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar Wednesday said that huge coal reserves and a number of Thar coal mining and power projects would usher in new era of development and prosperity in the desert region of the country.

Justice Nisar said these projects would prove to be a milestone in development of the country. “These are remarkable projects. The coal-fired power generation which is almost at the final stage will resolve energy crisis in the country,” said the chief justice.

CJP Nisar arrived in Tharparkar yesterday and visited Thar Coalfied. Talking to journalists at Thar Coalfield, he lauded efforts of Sindh government for providing relief to drought-hit Thari people.

He underlined the need to work on providing quality healthcare and education to the people living in desert district of the country. He said during his visit to Diplo Taluka Hospital, he found X-ray machine out of order. He said there were operation theaters in Mithi but no surgeon to conduct surgeries of the patients.

The CJP said he found no facilities at government hospitals during his visit to Diplo and directed chief minister to look after such issues of Thar and its inhabitants. The top judge said that huge coal reserves and a number of projects would usher in new era of prosperity and progress in the desert region. He said he had already directed Sindh chief minister, chief secretary and other officials of Sindh government to focus on the core issues of Thar so that Tharis could get maximum relief in the wake of drought conditions.

Earlier, the chief justice after landing at Shaheed Mai Bakhtawar Airport, reached Mithi by helicopter and visited Asia’s biggest RO plant in Misri Shah area on the outskirts of Mithi town. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and officials of a private firm briefed him about the plant and said the plant was catering to the need of over 50,000 people and their livestock living in Mithi and its surrounding areas and its daily supply of safe water was 2 million gallons.

Justice Nisar drove to Civil Hospital and during his visit he went to various wards where some of the patients as well as their attendants complained about shortage of medicines. The chief justice also expressed his anger during his visit to emergency ward and asked the officials to provide all required facilities to meet any emergency. “What will you do in case of any emergency?” he reprimanded the officials present there.

The hospital has been extensively decorated like a bride going to be married but there is shortage of drugs,” he remarked. The chief minister and other officials informed him that Sindh government had marshaled all its resources to provide quality healthcare facilities in Mithi and rest of Thar.

They claimed that infants were dying as most of them were underweight. They claimed that child marriages were the prime factor behind such fatalities. “We are trying our best to curb the menace of early age marriages by launching awareness drives,” they added.

Justice Nisar left for Diplo town and some other villages without talking to the media persons. During his visit to Diplo town, he visited Taluka Hospital and directed the officials to ensure best healthcare facilities to Thari people. He also visited village Korio Thakur and heard grievances of the residents and passed orders for immediate effective measures for Thari villagers.

Chief Justice Nisar also visited Thar Coalfield near Islamkot. He was briefed about different power projects. He also met with lady dumper drivers and was briefed by Abul Fazal Rizvi and other officials of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC). The officials of SECMC briefed him about progress of their projects and thanked him for visiting the sites and encouraging their efforts.

The officials apprised him that the firm was all set to produce 660MW of power by the end of January or by the first week of February. They said that concerted efforts were being made to provide all basic modern facilities to the people living in coalfield and Islamkot was going to be the modern town of the province. They said Thar Foundation was all set to provide relief to drought-hit Tharis and their livestock.

“The Sindh government has done commendable job in providing free of cost food and fodder to the drought-stricken people of Thar,” the chief judge lauded.

“After 18th Constitutional Amendment subject of health has been devolved to the provinces and now it becomes their [provinces] responsibility to provide best health services to their people,” he added.

He also talked about a school building he visited near Diplo and said the building was in dilapidated condition.

“The chief minister is with me and he also noted the condition of the school and I am sure he [the chief minister] will resolve the issue of the school in question and of other schools in Thar area,” he said.

The chief justice visited two MGD solar and electric-based RO installed and commissioned in January 2015. This is plant known as Misri Shah RO Plant. The chief minister drank a glass of water produced by the RO Plant and expressed his satisfaction.

A delegation of workers of underground gasification plant under the leadership of Dr. Manik, Abdul Manan Larik, Ameer Bux Burdi Mohammad Ali Khaskheli and others also met with chief justice at the airport on his departure to Karachi and requested him to order the relevant functionaries to release their six-month salaries.

The chief justice reportedly assured them of resolving their issues of pending salaries.