India’s largest block of coal in Bengal will displace nearly 21,000, of which 43% from St | Breaking News Updates

India’s largest block of coal in Bengal will displace nearly 21,000, of which 43% from St

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The Deucha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsinga Coal Block (DPDH) is Asia’s largest coal reserve and will soon be the site of the world’s second largest coal mine. But the project will result in the displacement of nearly 21,000 people, of which 9,034 are Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities and 3,601 are Scheduled Caste (SC) communities.

While West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the project will be implemented with public consensus, members of the displaced communities have expressed reservations.

“We are going to create a model for India to execute big projects like Deocha Pachami Coal Block. This will be done in phases and with the full support of the public by adopting best mining practices within a set time frame. The wheels of development in Bengal will not stop even in times of crisis, “CM Banerjee tweeted last year.

The coal block, located in the Birbhoom district of West Bengal, covers 13.7 km². The coal seams are trapped between thick layers of basalt. The government estimates the region’s coal and basalt reserves at 1,198 million tonnes of coal and 1,400 million cubic meters of basalt. The State and the Center plan to invest Rs 35,000 crore for the development of the coal block and to spend an additional Rs 10,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation.

The compensation program for displaced families includes Rs 10-13 lakh per bigha (0.33 acre) and Rs 5.5 lakh for relocation costs. A 600 square foot house in a rehabilitation colony will also be provided to displaced families.

In addition, the state government will offer one adult family member from each household a job as a junior officer in the state police, which is expected to benefit 4,942 people.

160 farm workers will receive Rs 50,000 and 500 days of employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), while 3,000 workers at existing crushing plants will receive “maintenance costs” of 10,000. Rs per month for 12 months.

Despite the compensation program, displaced families have raised controversies over the size of the houses provided in the rehabilitation settlement and whether only one adult in a household would be offered a job despite the fact that a household may. contain several adults who lose livelihood as a result of the move.

It’s not just a matter of moving either. India’s investment in coal comes at a time when the world is moving towards decarbonizing its power grids. But India’s continued investments in the most carbon-intensive energy source underscore the fact that while the country is celebrating its growing share of renewable energy, it is not abandoning fossil fuel sources anytime soon.

(Edited by : Jomy Jos Pullokaran)

First publication: STI


India’s largest block of coal in Bengal will displace nearly 21,000, of which 43% from St

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