Coal India violating rights of adivasis, claims Amnesty

The rights of adivasis have been violated by the coal producing companies, said Amnesty India chief Aakar Patel

taru

Taru Bhatia | July 13, 2016 | New Delhi


#coal companies   #adivasis   #Coal India   #Amnesty India   #rights   #parliament  


Amnesty International India has released an investigative report on how mining operations by India's largest coal producing state-owned Coal India Limited has violated the rights of adivasis. 

The report – when land is lost, do we eat coal? – released on Wednesday has traced Coal India subsidiaries in Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh. It highlights how  authorities and the company has failed to consult adivasi communities and forest dwellers before  ‘grabbing’ their land.
 
“We need to question what development we are talking about, if that doesn't include adivasi and poorest of poor,” said V. Kishore Chandra Deo, former union minister for tribal affairs.
 
The report also underlines the environmental impacts of mines, which seriously affects the lives of the indigenous communities. 
 
The report is not about the UPA government or the NDA government, it is about the rights of adivasis that have been violated by the coal producing companies including state owned Coal India Limited, said Aakar Patel, executive director, Amnesty International India. 
 
"The government plans to nearly double coal production by 2020, and Coal India wants to produce a billion tonnes of coal every year. Yet both the company and central and state governments don't seem to care to speak or listen to vulnerable adivasi communities whose lands are acquired and forests destroyed for coal mining," he added.
 
The organisation shared the report with the central and state governments and the Coal India limited, however, neither of them have responded to it yet, Patel said.
 
The report exposes a pattern of human rights violations in open cast mines run by different Coal India subsidiaries that are South Eastern Coalfields Limited's Kusumunda mine in Chattisgarh, central Coalfields Limited's Tetariakhar mine in Jharkhand and Mahanadi Coalfields Limited's Basundhara-west mine in Odisha. 
 
Patel, while releasing the report said, "We are not against mining…but [against] the irresponsible method with which the coal is extracted."
Aruna Chandrashekhar, a senior researcher of the report with Amnesty International India, said adivasis were left out  of decision making and were not spoken to before the coal companies acquired their land for mining. 
 
Indian companies have breached both Indian and international laws by not respecting human rights, including by carrying out due diligence to ensure that government agencies conduct proper consultation with regard to coal mining operations. This responsibility exists over and above compliance with national laws, Chandrashekhar added. 
 
To make matters worse, in recent years, successive governments have sought to dilute requirements for public hearings for certain categories of mines, putting the rights of local communities at further risks, she said. 
 
Sudha Bharadwaj, a human rights lawyer said, "If state owned companies are doing such human rights violations, imagine what private companies must be doing. Just imagine."
 
She added that we need to question whether we need so many power plants and coal mining at policy level. 
Amnesty International India has submitted various recommendations to the central and state governments. The most important of which is to amend the coal bearing act.
 

Comments

 

Other News

How a portal saved 2,000 lives by connecting patients with dialysis centres

As the city of Mumbai went into the lockdown in March 2020, those who were on permanent dialysis and caught Covid infection or suspected to have been infected were badly in need of dialysis treatment. At the same time a large number of patients who were already in dialysis centres started contracti

Tamil Nadu constitutes `Economic Advisory Council` with nobel laureates

The Tamil Nadu government has announced the `Economic Advisory Council` to the Chief Minister comprising Nobel laureates, Raghuram Rajan, former governor of Reserve Bank of India and various other economic experts from around the globe to advise the state on how to reverse the economic slowdown. The state

Kashmir valley railway stations get rail Wi-Fi network

 All 15 Kashmir Valley Railway Stations, including Srinagar, have now got integrated with 6021 Station Wi-Fi Network of Indian Railways. Public Wi-Fi, provided under the brand name of RailWire, is available at 15 stations such as Baramula, Hamre, Pattan, Maz

PM launches M-Yoga app on 7th International Yoga Day

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi launched the ‘WHO M-Yoga’ App while addressing the occasion of the 7th International Day of Yoga. M-Yoga app will provide many videos of Yoga training and practice based on common Yoga protocol in many languages. Terming th

Cinema and OTT will coexist: Madhur Bhandarkar

With technology evolving every day, it provides filmmakers ideas to get more creative and an edge to tell more stories. India currently has about 40 OTT platforms and the number is increasing by the day. With cinema halls shut during the pandemic-induced lockdown, people turned to OTT platforms in a big wa

‘Pandemic added to loneliness, isolation among elderly’

HelpAge India Report 2021, ‘The Silent Tormentor: Covid 19 & the Elderly’, assesses the impact and challenges of the pandemic on lives of elderly living in households (informal settings) and old-age homes (informal settings). It unravels some deep-seated fears of the country’s elderly

Visionary Talk with Madhur Bhandarkar, National Award Film Maker



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter