The country is facing unprecedented shortage of energy that has not just stopped the engine of the economy in its tracks but also almost paralyzed the state apparatus. The shortage of hydro electricity and spiraling prices of oil and gas have left us with no other choice but to use the large reserves of Thar coal. There is no denying the fact that previous governments had shown criminal negligence in not adding a single megawatt to the national gird. The present government needs to expedite work on Thar coal. Former CM Arbab Ghulam Rahim, in his last days in office had blamed the oil cartels as the major stumbling block in the execution of this mega project. The government should steadfastly resist such vested interest who have made billions from oil. Recent media reports said the federal government is about to take over the Thar coal project and the Sindh government has some reservations about that. This could become a bone of contention between Sindh and center in the near future. Islamabad should help Sindh develop this mega project rather than do it itself. It is the only viable solution of our energy problem and should not be mired in controversy. -GULSHER PANHWER, Johi, District Dadu, via e-mail, July 14.