This letter is in response to Dr Bhattis's letter on the subject above. Thar is an energy resource. Coal is now being gasified, liquified as a clean fuel in addition to its use in the chemical and polymer industry. Power generation is only one of the applications of this resource. Pakistan should continue with its Hydel Power Generation programme while Thar has to be developed as an energy resource. I have just returned from the international Pittsburgh Coal Conference where my paper on Thar Coal was presented. Underground Coal Gasification ( UCG ) is an experimental process which is at least 5 years away from commercial application but unfortunately is holding the Thar Coal Development hostage. Mr Abbassi has raised pertinent issues regarding UCG but the conventional Open Pit Mining can be started right away. Thar has the potential of turning Pakistan from an energy deficient to surplus nation. We recommend immediate digging for a Test/Development Mine to obtain bulk samples of coal to study the gasification/liquefaction potential of the deposit that will then lead to a Bankable Feasibility followed by investments. Thar Coal Development is not competing with the Hydel Power Generation programme, in fact they compliment each other once we remove the untested detours like UCG etc. Pakistan is running out of fuel and must tap all its resources using established/tested technologies. DR FARID A. MALIK, Lahore, October 24.