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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

 

Greenpeace India Analyses Coal Dependence Worsens Drought Impact

Feature story | June 3, 2016 at 16:42

New Delhi | 3 June 2016 | Greenpeace India today released data on the water consumption patterns of coal power plants in seven drought affected states – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh.

How India’s Coal Power Expansion Triggered An Air Pollution Crisis

Blog entry by Lauri Myllyvirta | May 25, 2016

In New Delhi, where drivers routinely turn on their emergency indicators to be seen in the winter smog, the air pollution debate has largely focused on two sources of air pollution: cars inside the city and agricultural waste-burning...

Greenpeace India Launches Report - Out Of Sight

Feature story | May 24, 2016 at 11:27

New Delhi 23rd May 2016| A report released today by Greenpeace India, “Out of Sight - How coal burning advances India’s Air Pollution Crisis” reveals coal as the largest overlooked source of air pollution, and identifies air pollution emission...

National Clean Air Action Plan Is The Need Of The Hour: Greenpeace India

Feature story | May 16, 2016 at 14:13

New Delhi| May 12, 2016| The most recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), released today, has re-emphasised the immediate need to address the air pollution menace in several Indian cities such as, Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna and...

Greenpeace Welcomes Phasing Out Of Aging Coal Power Plants

Feature story | May 11, 2016 at 17:10

New Delhi 9th May 2016| Greenpeace India welcomed the Central Electricity Commission Chairman’s statement that indicated phasing out aging coal-fired power plants and called it a ‘step in the right direction’.

Nothing momentous in the Modi-Obama statement on climate change

Feature story | January 25, 2015 at 19:13

Greenpeace India expressed disappointment at the joint announcement by Prime Minister Modi and President Obama as it didn’t go beyond rhetoric and the usual platitudes.

LIMA COP 20: Hope and an opportunity for India

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | December 1, 2014

It’s that time of the year again when climate and its politics get prominence! Starting today and for the next two weeks, official negotiators, bureaucrats, technocrats, think-tanks, activists, civil society, corporate honchos, trade...

The Blame Game Over The Power Crisis

Blog entry by Nandikesh Sivalingam | July 19, 2014

It's that time of the year again- when the buck gets passed! Every summer when the power crisis hits hard, the whole rigmarole begins with the power companies blaming coal mining companies for fuel scarcity, mining companies blaming...

Why the world's biggest coal company has backed down

Blog entry by Deng Ping and Harri Lammi | April 8, 2014

Last year, Greenpeace decided to do something we had never done before during our 13 years of work in China: target and confront a state owned coal company. And not just any company. The biggest and boldest, a Chinese government...

Failed corps and parched lands are the remnants of Maharasthra's drought

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 14, 2013

In Maharashtra, fields have dried up, so have the rivers and lakes, leaving people with temporary solutions to what could potentially turn into a permanent problem if not handled properly. Where is the greenery? Women in Sholapur...

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