This note is in response to your editorial on Thar coal. Commercial projects require feasibility not publicity as is being done. Dr Samar must publish the results of his pilot test of producing gas by Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) method. The results have to be reviewed by independent experts before embarking on power generation. If there is no gas there will be no power. Regarding salaries there should be a financial audit of funds released so far.

Dr Qadeer Khan and myself are Metallurgical Engineers a discipline closely linked with mining. UCG is an emerging technology which is not suitable for a mineable, shallow, watery deposit like Thar, as engineers we understand the inappropriateness of Dr Samar’s approach who is a nuclear scientist with electronics background. In technology it is widely believed that mystery is mischief. So the shroud of mystery should be removed with an independent audit/review by experts. As a nation we are running out of fuel, we cannot waste resources on unproven technologies. Public money should not be misspent. Technical/financial audit of the UCG Project is required as soon as possible so that real development i.e to reach the coal deposit by digging can be started.

DR FARID A. MALIK,

Lahore, August 15.