The country’s dependence on coal is leaving a dirty trail of violence, landlessness and poverty.
India is hungry for energy. Over 173 power plants, all of them coal-fired, will be built to power the nation’s high-tech industries and booming cities.
This is accelerating an ongoing “coal rush” which has put our dirtiest fossil fuel at the heart of India’s breakneck growth, and could soon make a single state, Andhra Pradesh, one of the world’s top 20 carbon emitters.
But not everyone is convinced that this boom is a blessing. Physicist and businessman, Asoke Agarwal believes that India is heading for disaster:
“It is time that we think of a more austere way of living. That was what India was famous for earlier. Today we have just aped the West. The West has gone at a speed at which they are destroying themselves, and we are following them. So it is high time that we realise that there is something drastically wrong with our economy.”
On 101 East, filmmaker Orlando de Guzman takes a dark journey through the coal belt of Jharkhand and West Bengal, to look at the winners and losers of this booming industry.
101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.
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