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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

 

Impact of Water Resources Projects-Case Study Wardha

Publication | August 8, 2012 at 16:30

Vidarbha region in Maharastra has a long history of under development. Many measures to offset the agrarian crisis in the region like the Prime Minister's debt relief assistance in 2006 has focussed extensively on developing assured irrigation...

Coal kills people and tigers. And now it isn’t even cheap.

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | August 2, 2012

It's no secret that coal pollution kills people; it's now increasingly clear that expanding coal mining is destroying significant areas of tiger, leopard and elephant habitat in India. Recent GIS analysis by Greenpeace shows that coal...

How coal mining is trashing tigerland

Publication | August 1, 2012 at 16:35

This report makes the case that the biggest threat to the long term survival of the Royal Bengal Tiger in its largest contiguous landscape- Central India- has been overlooked by the Indian government and its administrative machinery. That threat...

A look at the coal plants behind the iCloud

Blog entry by Iris Cheng | May 8, 2012

How does Apple's $1billion iDataCenter in Maiden, North Carolina draw its power? Apple is sending millions of dollars a year to Duke Energy, one of the few utilities in the US that is still building coal plants. By making a...

Activists block shipment of mountain top removal coal

Blog entry by gwisniew | May 4, 2012

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Google Welcomes Greenpeace Clean our Cloud Report

Blog entry by Kevin Grandia | April 19, 2012

In response to the Greenpeace How Clean is Your Cloud report released yesterday, Urs Hoelzle Google’s Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure in a statement published in the New York Times said that: “The...

We took it direct to their offices

Blog entry by Leila Deen, Greenpeace International | April 19, 2012

Today we took the ‘How Clean is your Cloud’ challenge directly to Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, the three companies which need to switch from dirty coal to clean, renewable power. This challenge follows yesterday’s launch of our...

Some like it dirty

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | April 5, 2012

Coal has always been a dirty fuel. The last few days have proved that this is true not only in terms of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, but in terms of corruption as well. No reason for surprise; as a natural resource, coal is...

Kadia, this is for you…

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | March 8, 2012

"My rice crops dried.. as if they were burnt with fire... I did not harvest rice the year before too... Last year the rain started well, but it suddenly stopped... Some days we can not find food for our children ..." these plaintive...

The true cost of coal

Image gallery | January 10, 2012

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