Broken Landscape: In rural India, the demand for coal has drastically altered the environment and the lives of those who depend on it. Unregulated ‘rat-hole’ mining serves the economy, but endangers both landscape and livelihood.
“This place was pure and clean before. We used the river for drinking and cooking.” One fisherman recalls with painful nostalgia his memories of the river the village used to enjoy. “Now the people do not touch it. They are repulsed by it.” This is the result of the thousands of small-hold mines in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya. They have run with no restriction – until now. The National Green Tribunal recently shut down mining in the region at the expense of the local economy, leading to coal mine owners and workers staging protests. With coal in such high demand, India has been forced to chose between economy and environment.
For similar stories, see:
The Children Risking Their Lives In Underwater Gold Mines
Gold Miners in Guyana Are Destroying the Amazon
How China’s Pollution Became A National Emergency
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