Why India can’t live without coal despite its negative environmental effects – by Salimah Shivji (CBC News – October 26, 2021)


A lone well sits in the middle of the Bhatali village square in central India’s coal-rich Chandrapur district, steps from a massive open-pit mine. The well is dug 10 times deeper than previous ones, which all ran dry years ago, and the water spurting from it is not safe to drink.

“Our lands have gone to waste,” said village leader Subhash Gaurkar, pointing to the coal mining activity that surrounds the town. Mining of the highly polluting fossil fuel in Chandrapur, like in many other coal-rich regions of India, has siphoned most of what was, at one time, a plentiful water supply.

India is the world’s second largest producer of coal, behind China. Critics worry that fossil fuel will be the centrepiece of the country’s energy production for several decades yet, along with the environmental and health consequences that come with it.

“Our wells are 30 feet deep and the mines are 80 feet deep,” Gaurkar said. “The mines suck all the water, so we don’t get that water. How can farmers irrigate their farm then?” Manoj Waghmare, 36, doesn’t any longer. His field, across the street from the large coal mine, sits empty and devoid of crops.

For the rest of this article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/why-india-can-t-live-without-coal-despite-its-negative-environmental-effects-1.6224324