Health, Safety and Environment Guardian of ‘most beautiful’ Thar Coal Mine
“Thar Coal Mining Project has set the benchmark for all other projects in Pakistan regarding local people’s development in terms of economy, skills, and facilities. It enables them to think and live with this world of the 21st century. Today, I feel this coal mine is the most beautiful mine in the world,” Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah, Deputy Manager (HSE) of Thar Coal Mine Block II, said proudly.
Having worked for Pakistan’s energy and construction industry since 2013, he is quite experienced in the field of Health, Safety and Environment after working for many major companies. But for him, Thar Coal Mining Project is always the special one.
“Since I was in school, Thar coal has been the main highlight of students and teachers’ everyday discussions. As I started my professional career in February, 2013, it was always my wish to work on a project that I may proudly tell our coming generations that I was part of the team who worked from the beginning, and my wish has come true since I joined Thar Coal Mining Project. Today, eyeing this project with potential to lighten our country every minute is unbelievable.” Shah said.
In May, 2016, Shah started to work for Thar Coal Mining Project that he always dreamed about, and arrived in the desert area of Tharparkar for the first time in his life.
"When I entered the mining site, the conditions were tough and the environment was harsh. As time passed I spent time with China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC), and my thoughts turned confident that companies like CMEC can do this, and we together made it," Shah recalled.
So far, Thar Coal Mining Project has achieved over 21 million safe man-hours, to which Shah contributed a lot. “Mr. Shah works diligently to ensure all the work ongoing is safely executed, and all welfare facilities including clean drinking water, neat rooms, good food, etc. are provided to workers. He always manages the project with up to date HSE standards in the world,” CMEC official appraised Shah.
Besides bringing energy security to Pakistan, the project also has boosted local people’s development. According to Shah, currently about 1,800 local people are working in this project. “Almost all family members who are in age of earning are having some good money at the end of each month. It has done a lot of help for local families in making their lives pleasant and safe,” he said.
“Today, Tharparkar District is having quality road network, hospitals, international standard schools, good business in the town and many more due to this Project,” Shah said. It’s also noted that in the environment field he is specialized in, he acted a major role as EPC contractor representative in Thar Million Trees Project, in which one million trees have been planted, sustainably improving the local environment.
“Thar Coal Mining Project has the potential to run and light up Pakistan for 50 years. It’s an honor for me to work for this project in my country. In the future, I would love to continue to work for it,” Shah concluded with confidence.