This letter is in response to the news item published under the heading: "Thar coal to give power for 30 years ". According to Dr Samar Mubrakmand a Nuclear Scientist, "coal was burnt at 250 feet underground on December 11,2011 and gas was found on Dec 19,2011 in the Islamkot area. "Our Nuclear Scientists have never faced Technical or Financial Audits. Commercial developments require very stringent audits before moving to the next level. The Underground Coal  Gasification ( UCG ) project of the Nuclear Scientist has already consumed three years of very valuable commercial exploitation time of the Thar Coal deposit. I suggest before extending this project beyond December 31, 2011 a thorough Technology Audit should be conducted by experts. UCG is still not ready for commercial application and we cannot afford to waste any more time pursuing experimental technologies. We have to dig for coal, as it being done all over the world.

DR FARID A. MALIK,

Lahore, December 27.