India’s Coal Rush (Video)

By Bhavani Prakash

One of the things that easily catches one’s attention during a train journey in India is the so-called ‘goods’ trains that ferry coal to and fro many parts of the nation. While railways have provided a vast network of sustainable transport options for millions of Indians every day, it is still predicated on the burning of a very dirty fossil fuel, namely coal.

It struck me when I read the free in-house magazine by Indian Railways in December 2012 during a journey, coal was highlighted quite significantly as a key national resource by both the Indian Minister of Coal and the Chairman of Coal India, (a state owned company which is also the world’s single largest coal producer in the world), whose interviews were published therein.

The desperation for economic growth, and the impatience with the environment ministry for not granting approvals fast enough for coal mining, was quite evident in the tone of these interviews.  It set me thinking then – there was not a single mention of climate change, nor any mention of the social, economic and environmental effects of coal mining. Nor were there any concerns expressed about sourcing coal from other countries such as Indonesia whose rainforests serve as lungs to the planet. Nor any indication as to whether socio-environmental factors had been taken into consideration when seeking overseas equity stakes in mining companies.

Jeremy Leggett also highlighted in the Guardian UK article, “Coal India IPO shows the mountain we have to climb”  his concerns about the public sector company’s IPO last year. Its 510 page prospectus did not make a single reference to climate change risks.

Against this context, here’s another perspective shared by Al Jazeera TV whose documentary, “India’s Coal Rush” by Orlando de Guzman highlights quite poignantly who gains and who loses in the mad coal rush in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India.

Video Link here

About the Writer:

Bhavani Prakash is the Founder of Eco WALK the Talk .com.  She is a sustainability speaker, trainer and writer can be contacted at bhavani[at]ecowalkthetalk.com. Follow Eco WALK the Talk on Facebook, TwitterLinked IN and YouTube


Further links you may be interested in:

Green Collar Asia: Report: Unburnable Carbon: Are the world’s financial markets carrying a carbon bubble? 

EWTT: Climate Change Negotiations: Some inconvenient truths

EWTT: Pen Hadow: Melting Arctic Sea Ice and How it will affect Asia

EWTT: Contraction & Convergence: An Urgent Global Imperative to tackle climate change








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Posted by on Mar 28 2012. Filed under Climate Change, Sustainable Growth/Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “India’s Coal Rush (Video)”

  1. It is unfortunate that the Government has failed to assess the impact of coal to our environment. Coal India – the state owned company has failed completely in fulfilling its corporate social responsibility; particularly with regard to protecting our environment.

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