Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh pictured with miners associated with Lakhra coalfields at the ceremony to extend health insurance coverage to them. Image Credit: Sindh Energy Department

Karachi: The Sindh government has introduced health insurance coverage for miners associated with Lakhra coalfields in the province, whose lives and safety remain under constant threat due to their involvement in the conventional mining process.

Up to 98 per cent of Pakistan’s coal reserves are found in Sindh. Except the Thar area where coal extraction has lately begun, conventional mining process is mostly used in the rest of the coalfields in Sindh.

The insurance facility will cover all the expenses to be incurred on treating the injured miners while compensation will also be paid to the bereaved families of the miners in the event of accidental death.

The insurance facility will cover around 1,000 miners associated with Lakhra coal mines spread over around 13,000 acres area in District Jamshoro, some 139km from Karachi.

The coal miners were brought to Karachi to attend the signing ceremony held at a seaside hotel for the launch of the insurance scheme.

CEO of Sindh Lakhra Coal Mining Company, Khadim Hussain Channa, said the health insurance coverage had been provided in view of the frequent accidents during mining work in the last three years.

He said that necessary emergency medical and rescue services had been launched at the mining site to meet any eventuality.

He said that special initiatives had been launched to ensure the welfare of the people associated with the mining area.

Sindh government’s Secretary for Energy Department, Abu Bakar Madni, noted that labourers associated with Lakhra coalfields endangered their safety every day as they entered the coal mines for extracting the precious mineral reserve of the province.

Sindh Energy Minister, Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh, said the provincial government was fully committed to the cause of welfare and safety of coal miners in view of the fact that a large number of these workers hailed from faraway hilly north of Pakistan.