Worth of Saindak project = plight of its natives
By Naeem Baloch, Nushki
The Saindak Gold – Copper project is situated adjacent to Saindak town in District of Chaghi, Balochistan. The Saindak project is famous for its gold, copper and silver deposits, publically. In 1901, the gold deposits were discovered by two geologists; an Englishman and a Hindus.
In 1970, after the discovery of gold deposits at Saindak, the Pakistani authorities with collaboration of Chinese engineer kicked-off establishing firms for extraction of treasurable minerals. In 1975, initially Pakistan launched mining but its engineers couldn’t operate the project properly, consequently the project faltered for some years. Subsequently Government of Pakistan handed over the project to China. The both countries signed on a formal agreement worth $350 for development of Saindak Copper – Gold mine. The mines were leased on to MCC (Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd) for the period of ten years. In the contents of agreement, on per 50% of revenue goes to MCC, 48% to the government of Pakistan, while 2% was settled for real owner the Balochistan.
Mining was sectored in three directs with names; South, North and East ore bodies.
South ore body contains deposits of 111 million tons, North ore body have deposits of 28 million tons while east ore body covers deposits of 273 million tons. The project overall contains reserves of 412 million tons, on average 0.5 gram of gold per ton and 1.5 gram of silver per ton. According to official estimates, the project has capacity to produce 15, 800 tons of blister copper annually, containing 1.5 tons of gold and 2.8 tons of silver. The reported production results, however, have generally remained on average more than 2000 tons per month, which means that more than production of 24,000 tons per year has been extracting.
Currently, the project is being managed by some 350 Chinese and 1,400 Pakistani workforce. The Pakistani engineers’ salaries are very low comparatively Chinese, because a Chinese enjoys salary about $1200 whilst Pakistanis remuneration is some $200 and this makes a wide difference in imbursements. Meantime, the Chinese laborer gets salary of $200 which is equal to an indigenous engineer. Confused disposal of justice here can be witnessed. The vacancies at discussed project are not filled on merit base, rather to this the people are appointed through favoritism and nepotism.
Chinese attitude is like step mother towards local laborer and workers. The Chinese along with Pakistani influential have gulped billion of rupees earned from Saindak project. The Chinese are observed the most corrupt and uncivilized in the world after the experience of Saindak project.
International laws articulate the area population should be facilitated with universities, schools, hospitals and infrastructure from revenue of discovered production, primarily. Just 8.0 million scholarships have been orientated for the locals including district Chaghi students where project is situated, yearly. Regrettably, deserving students are not given rather the Pashtoon ethnic of the province due to influence, sycophancy and prejudiced policies are enjoying discussed scholarships.
The problems are to be reviewed, then a swarm is seen from that employees and local people are suffering. Just one school for six village and 500 students are educating from this. Beware, no girl school at all exist in entire Saindak town in both sectors neither government nor private. There are 16 teachers with insufficient salary of Rs 15000 to 24000 and this is absolutely injustice with them. Teachers are not considered the part of company, and they are also not given any bonus, water, health allowances, house rent and likewise. Furthermore, the high school lacks the facilities, like science room, furniture and boundary wall.
Though, on the 16 October 2014, divisional director education Yahya Khan Mengal visited MRDL School. After that, he approached to Chinese MD regarding the plight of mentioned educational institute. He vehemently emphasized for increment in the salaries of teaching staff and recommended minimum Rs 100000 or above than this for each. Moreover, Mr Mengal promised for up-gradation of school at Saindak project as semi-governmental, eventually nothing could be materialized on ground.
Secondly, the availability of hygienic water is a major problem for employees. Because of the use of uncleansed water many diseases have been reported in area people, for instance high blood pressure, obesity, stress, kidneys’ defects, laziness, stomach ailment and heart attack. Recently, two employees died of heart attack, but the project didn’t provide ambulance the victims who were transported to any modern health developed area. In addition, local people are deprived of all basic necessities, even the local employees are not provided standard edibles from project’s mess.
Unluckily, media which is considered the mirror of a society, neither gave slight coverage nor highlighted the embezzlements were made at Saindak project. If we observe the hollow claims made by Chief Minister Balochistan about education, so pragmatically these do not bear any fruit but his vociferation evaporates in air. They are turning a blind eye to such marginalized area. The Chief Minister is invited to visit Saindak project to convey a strong omen of real nationalism to the people of province. There is immediate need of attention and action on the miserable conditions of education in the area of Saindak project which producing a huge amount for country with international powers.