Why are we opening Asia’s largest coal mine while promising to phase down coal?


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The West Bengal government is working on opening a coal mine in the district of Birbhum. The mine in the Deucha Pachami area will be the largest in Asia and the second largest in the world. It will displace around 21,000 people, majority of whom belong to scheduled castes and tribes.

India is one of the governments around the world that have signed the UN Framework Convention of Climate Change. This year, the Union Ministry of Coal set up a Just Transition division for which the World Bank is supposed to provide an aid of $1.15 million. We have committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2070. So why are we increasing coal production while promising to phase it down?

To understand these contradictions, our reporter Suryatapa Mukherjee speaks to Pradip Swarnakar in this episode of The Suno India Show. He is a professor and the founder of the Just Transition research centre at IIT Kanpur.

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1. Plans for the coal mine (00:00:00)

2. Compensation for residents (00:05:14)

3. Lack of development for Adivasis (00:07:28)

4. State pressure on residents (00:11:24)

5. What about climate change (00:13:13)

6. Coal peak before phase down (00:17:15)

7. Loss of Adivasi culture (00:20:42)

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