KARACHI - The study for development of additional four blocks at Thar coalfield is in limbo due to delay in release of funds by central as well as provincial government, sources told The Nation. The study for development of additional four blocks at Thar coalfield with estimated cost of Rs520 million was approved in last fiscal year but work has not been started due to slow pace of funds release and traditional bureaucracy delaying tactics at federal level, officials said. According to sources, the competent forums of the government had already approved the scheme to carry out study of these coal blocks. However, the cost of Rs260 million for study of the two additional coal blocks (9 and 10 blocks) would be borne by the Sindh government from its Annual Development Programme, while federal government will spend equal amount of Rs260 million to initiate study for remaining coal blocks of 11 and 12 from its PSDP in last fiscal year 2009-10. However, the study for development of additional coal blocks was supposed to be implemented through Sindh Coal Authority. According to the copy of PC-2 report of the project available with The Nation, the main objective of the study was to explore coal resources and develop further four blocks over an area of 200 square kilometres which will enable to attract the private investment at Thar coalfield. As the expected outcome of study of coal blocks 7 and 8 has confirmed the coal reserves were found to 1.8 billion tons approximately, while the thickest seam has also discovered ever in Thar were found in the coal block 8, report said. An official of the Mines and Mineral Department said that study would be carried out through drilling for 40 to 50 bore holes (in each block) with geological, geo-technical and geo-physical logging with total meterage of approximate 3,000 meters. Highlighting the details of study, the official said that the quality of coal would be determined through chemical analysis of all coal seams of one meter and above as per international standards, and coal & core samples including trace elements of selected samples dully preserved in iron core boxes. Official further said that on grid pattern maintaining close space drilling in study area, where possible will be carried out in two years and close spacing will be 0.4km to 0.5km apart. However, the project can result in establishing proven coal reserves over 1,000 to 3,000 million tons reserves in extended study area, which will be sufficient for 12,000MW power plant for its life for 30 years. However, the detailed analysis of coal quality and other pertinent data will be made available to the private sector showing them the reserves tonnage and its sustainability for plant operations, he said. The publication of maps and reports on extended study area with brochures will promote and attract both public and private sector for further development in mining and coal utilisation. The official concerned said that Sindh government had also sent letter to the federal finance ministry urging for timely release of funds but it has not been done by central department which resulted in further delay.