The rapid progress towards clean energy did not prevent evictions in coal belts. This is a good time to take stock of life in the centers of coal mines in India. Earlier this month, India has quickly reiterated its commitment to the Paris climate agreement following the release of the United States from the multi-party agreement to curb global warming.
The government is increasingly shifting from electricity production from coal to renewable energy. As the price of solar energy has reached an unprecedented level of 2.44 Rs per kilowatt hour in May, the governments of the Uttar Pradesh states in Andhra Pradesh have ruled out additional thermal capacity. India’s draft National Electricity Plan, released in December, sees thermal power capacity at 69% of India’s electricity generation mix at 43% by 2027.
Another important milestone noted by the country last month was the conviction of former Coal Secretary HC Gupta and two other senior officials accused of criminal conspiracy and deception under the Indian Penal Code and corruption under The Law on Prevention of Corruption of the irregularities of allocation of coal block Thesgora-B Rudrapur in Madhya Pradesh.
The case was part of the coal scam under the former regime of the United Progressive Alliance called Coalgate. In 2014, the Supreme Court canceled 214 coal concessions granted between 1993 and 2013, citing “arbitrary misapplication of mind” and. In the last three years, there have been three convictions in the cases of coal scams.
Despite this, it is no exaggeration to say that the coal scam trial has done justice to the various mine-affected communities in the coal-rich regions of India. Even the transition to renewable energy has not slowed down the cycle of movement and the spectrum of contamination in these tapes. After the Supreme Court on the coal scam, there was the expectation that coal mining would slow down.
But that does not happen, in part because of the trial, the cancellation of most existing mining concessions, served as a justification for Coal India Limited is developing rapidly, citing a shortage of coal. India’s coal production has increased from 462 million tons to 536 million tons between 2014 and 2016, an increase of 16%. In 2015-16, Coal India Limited and Singareni Coalfields together contributed 93% of coal mining in India.
Adivasi and Dalit communities living in the shadow of public sector mines have been the hardest hit by this increase in mining activity. As Coal India has pursued an expansion target of 1.5 billion tons per year, entire villages have disappeared in less than three years. The city that gave its name to the Tetariakhar Indian coal mine in Jharkhand no longer exists because the last Dalit family living on the edge have been forced to move in 2015, supposedly because they were forced by officials to the company and militias Local authorities acting on your request. Now they live in the shadow of the discharges from the mine. The village of Barkuta in Chhattisgarh was completed by Kusmunda, one of the largest coal mines in Asia that could be adapted to any center of Delhi at its height.
The Indian Coal expansion was carried out using a combination of eminent domain laws to acquire land mass, citing national interest, while using exceptions to justify a coal shortage.