India Beyond Coal

Jan 29 2013

A journey from food bowl to ash dykes: Lessons from Punjab


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Punjab, the food bowl of India has been learning ground for agriculturists, scientists, and farmers. Even before the Green Revolution, the farmer community in Punjab was known for its agricultural practices. Till date small farmers in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, praise the skills of farmers from Punjab and wish to have land and production like the fertile region of Punjab. Farmers in other states are eager to learn from their counterparts, but our government has decided to turn a blind eye towards the great ecological disaster of Punjab. A sudden increase in birth defects, physical and mental abnormalities, …

Jan 4 2013

CCI, a detrimental proposal for inclusive growth


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New year came with rather distressing news for India’s forests and our environment with the approval of the Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI). To be headed by the Prime Minister himself, the CCI is expected to grant fast track clearances to large scale infrastructure projects above 1000 crores (180 million USD) investment. The slow GDP growth is dictating Government policies and in the case of CCI, irrational and dangerous policies! Initially called the National Investment Board (NIB), the proposal stirred up a hornets nest with the environment ministry taking serious offence to such a proposal that devalues the role of …

Jan 2 2013

A story of a solar solution!


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We usually equate Goa with sunny beaches, coconut trees and a laid back life. But in the interior regions of Goa and Karnataka lie the most beautiful forests teeming with wildlife. One such area is the Castle Rock- Kuveshi region that is part of the Western Ghats landscape .The area is at an elevation of 2,040 ft and is home to tropical deciduous, evergreen & semi-evergreen vegetation which is typical of the Western Ghats and are home to gaur, tigers, leopards, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, slender loris to name but a few. In this area, …

Dec 19 2012

IEAs dirty future


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The international energy agency has put out a new report on coal that declares that coal will hold sway over our energy mix and dominate it by 2017. The new annual Medium-Term Coal Market Report (MCMR) that IEA released has disturbing projections for the growth of coal usage around the globe. The report says that besides the United States, all major economies of the world will burn greater amounts of coal to fuel their growth and by 2017 it will surpass oil on top or our energy contributor list. “Thanks to abundant supplies and insatiable demand for power from emerging …

Nov 8 2012

Dragged into the rat hole


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This blog was contributed by Risa Monica Kharmutee, Media Centre, Impulse NGO Network, Shillong. Impulse NGO Network fights for child rights, especially combating child trafficking under the Meghalaya Model, on the issue of combating child trafficking from the borders of Nepal and Bangladesh to the coal mines of Jaintia Hills district, Meghalaya. Coal mining has been a growing industry in Meghalaya especially in Jaintia Hills, where the mining industry has really grown over the past thirty years. According to the report by the Impulse NGO Network, the working conditions at the mines are extremely hazardous. Since majority of the labourers …

Nov 2 2012

An inspirational story worth sharing


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Building a movement around climate change requires fighting the strong forces of fossil fuel power. People’s movements world over are taking to creative forms of protest in challenging the status quo. India has a history of peoples movements that have taken on big infrastructure projects impacting their way of life, and currently, coal mines and power plants are a major driver behind a lot of these struggles in the country. The reasons are obvious given the highly destructive impacts of coal on peoples health, livelihoods and environment. From hunger strikes to dharnas to foot marches, impacted communities have worked with …

Oct 29 2012

Who’s the winner?


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With the advancement of technology in our thermal power plants, the number of jobs that are on offer are growing smaller and smaller. It requires less than 50 people to operate a thermal power plant but coal companies keep drumming the opposite beat of providing thousands of jobs in order to acquire precious land. The country is littered with stories of power plants that have come up on the false pretext of providing high quality jobs. Chattisgargh is one state that is investing a lot of money in tapping into its vast reserves of coal but a recent statement from …

Oct 25 2012

A death knell for coal


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During the recently concluded Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, a group of young organizers from 350.org and the Indian youth climate network took out a rally against coal. The rally symbolically pronounced the death of coal by carrying out a funeral procession on the main streets of Hyderabad.