ISLAMABAD - Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar on Saturday said power generation through Thar coal was not workable so far.

In an interview with BBC, he said Dr Samar Mubarakmand was trying to generate electricity through Thar coal under highly advanced technology but it could not yield the desired result.

“We have decided to import coal and produce cheap electricity from it to serve the purpose of overcoming power shortfall and reducing the overall cost of power production.

“We cannot wait for ever that electricity is produced by using his technology. We need electricity immediately but Dr Samar Mubarakmand has not given any breakthrough so far,” he added.

When asked why so much time and money was spent on Dr Samar’s project, the federal minister remarked only Dr Samar only could reply to the question.

Mukhtar stated he had obtained the approval from President Asif Ali Zardari in respect of a project for overcoming power crisis. Power loadshedding could be scaled down to three hours within a year through the initiative, he claimed.

Giving details of the project costing four billion dollars, he said coal valuing one billion dollars would be imported, adding that an agreement had been signed to import generators from China to produce electricity, which would reach Pakistan within a few months.

He further said the imported generators would produce 2,200 MW of electricity. Mukhtar also disclosed one billion dollars would be spent on the reducing circular debt, adding that the whole process was going to improve the power generation in the country.

He said a special police force was being set up to plug power pilferage, as federal government had issued directives for establishing the force at the provincial level.