In a meeting held on July 16, 2009 at the Planning Commission Dr Samar Mubarikmand claimed that 10 Megawatt of power will be produced by the end of the year using Under Ground Gasification (UCG) process of converting Thar Coal into gas. The deadline was then shifted to June 2010. Then it was moved to December 2011 for 100 Megawatt. Where is the gas from Thar Coal based on the experimental UCG process? Last week Dr Shabbir the CEO of the company formed for this project reported that it is still a pilot project. UCG technology was developed in the former Soviet Union and till to date remains at the Pilot Stage. It is at least ten years awayfrom commercialization. Dr Samar has desperately tried to locate experts in the Russian Republic to help with the project but in vain. Thar coal should not be held hostage to gimmickry and false claims of scientists with no commercial experience or background. Dr Samar and his team should be given a final deadline to deliver the promised gas or told to wrap up this charade and concentrate on nuclear programme. More than 70% of coal is mined using the traditional open pit method after which it is either burnt to produce power or converted to gas under controlled processes above the ground. In the 21st century due to environmental considerations banks are not funding coal fired power plants. Thar Lignite Coal is ideal for gasification after mining using the standardopen pit method. Pakistan does not have the expertise to convert Thar coal into gas using the UCG method as claimed by Dr Samar, since July 2009 we have been waiting for an answer to our question: where is the gas? DR FARID A. MALIK, March 18.