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Coal-Water conflict

The unfair system of water allocations in Maharashtra needs to change. The government must stop allocating water to thermal power plants and industry. The water needs of farmers and their families must be met first.

Maharashtra's drought and water policy

Maharashtra's agricultural hinterland – especially Marathwada and Vidarbha – have been facing severe water crisis year after year. Issues of debts, crop failure, bad monsoon etc, have historically wreaked havoc on the farmers' livelihoods and driven them to suicide. This year, the state which is in the middle of what is being called the worst drought since 1972, is further under pressure.

However, despite this perpetual water crisis, the government has allowed water intensive industries to mushroom in these regions, and has also sold off the farmers' rightful water to them. 65 percent of these industries are thermal power plants running on coal, and require large quantities of water.

Scams and more

Maharashtra has also seen a massive scam in building dams where it has been reported that more than Rs.70,000 Crore was spent over ten years to only to have a marginal increase in irrigated area because of the cost of dams were escalated continuously and this has exposed the politicians-industries nexus in Maharashtra.

But the state’s grabbing and selling (allocating) of waters from dams- some of them yet to be commissioned seems to be a larger scandal hiding in the closet. The farmers are being deprived of their right to livelihood.

Last year our studies in Vidarbha’s Wardha and Wainganga rivers, done by IIT Delhi, showed that a cluster of 71 Thermal Power Plants and about 55000 MW coming up in Vidarbha will take away 40% water from Wardha and 17% water from Wainganga. This is water meant for agriculture.  Across the state more than 80,000 MW is being proposed.

Water for farmers

Without any doubt, the government is doing its best to provide relief measures to this disaster. But the real question is it learning to prevent a man-made drought of the future?

The government must realize that building more coal plants is not the solution to water scarcity or to the gap in electricity production.  It should first conduct an assessment of water availability in the rivers and all allocations should be suspended till this is complete. It  should actively promote renewable energy technologies which also have a potential to save water for irrigation and other needs, otherwise wasted by thermal power plants.

Help farmers get back the water allocated to coal power plants and industries across Maharashtra. Sign this petition to show your support.

The latest updates

 

Study of Impact of the Presidential Directive to Coal India

Publication | October 4, 2012 at 12:09

Greenpeace commissioned Equitorials, a financial research firm, to do an independent analysis of the financial impact of signing Fuel Supply Agreements(FSA) on Coal India Limited. This analysis has been done in the context of the Presidential...

Brikesh leaves the tree house

Image gallery | October 2, 2012

Brikesh Singh bids adieu to the forest

Feature story | October 1, 2012 at 15:36

Greenpeace activist, Brikesh Singh leaves the tree-house in the forests of Chandrapur today, on October 1. This was his home since September 1 when he decided to embark on a tree-top protest to save our forests. He will now make his way back to...

An unnamed stream, another victim of coal mining

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | September 25, 2012

Okay, tell me honestly don’t you think this image reminds you of Yin & Yan? It's close isn’t it? Well almost! Okay, somewhat there?  Never mind.   This morning we ran out of drinking water in our pots and because of previous night's...

Local MP visits Junglistan Nivas

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | September 24, 2012

Finally after 22 days of occupying the forest I had the local MP Hansraj Ahir visit me at the tree house. He was accompanied by two big shots from Western Coal Fields Limited (WCL). They are the guys who own and operate the mines in...

Junglistan diaries: booster shots of inspiration

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | September 24, 2012

Sisters from St Mary's convent and Montfort convent visited the tree house. I was amazed by their energy and enthusiasm. A lot of visitors who are half their age shy away from climbing up the tree house but all the sisters climbed...

What is breakfast for a snake?

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | September 21, 2012

I know I've repeatedly mentioned that there are a lot of snakes around this area, but substantial evidence has been missing all this while. This morning I was presented with an opportunity to provide you guys with evidence that...

Junglistan Nivas: a new hangout for the village kids

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | September 19, 2012

My caricature, my family and the artist Harish. Day 16 It was one of the busiest day after 1 st of September when I climbed up this tree. Around 170 people from schools, colleges, NGO’s, came to visit me.Among them was an...

Junglistan Diaries: the writing's on the wall

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | September 14, 2012

If you can read your name here then you are a hero. Today I started writing names of all the people, who have signed the petition, on the tree house. Every time I feel a little low, I'll look at these names and take inspiration...

Junglistan diaries: let the images talk

Image gallery | September 10, 2012

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