India’s tryst with coal mining can be traced back to the colonial times, judging from the Ministry of Coal’s proud proclamation of the early coal mining days of 1774 near the Damodar river in Jharkhand.

The country’s reliance on coal and coal based power generation was evident from the first five year plan period itself when the need for increasing coal production and its efficiency was one of the tasks set out for independent India. With the gradual establishment of a nationalised coal mining sector, most of the coal mining in India has historically concentrated on feeding the domestic demand.

The coal reserves of India up to the depth of 1200 meters have been estimated by the Geological Survey of India at 276.81 billion tonnes, as on 1.4.2010. These deposits are largely found in the states of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Sections of this discussion paper by Kalpavriksh and Greenpeace India:

  1. India’s coal context
  2. Community Forest Rights (CFR) as a legal entity
  3. Relevance of CFRs in coal mining region
  4. How do CFR’s relate to eminent domain powers of the State?
  5. Locating CFRs and coal in Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh
  6. Conclusion and recommendations

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