Coal seams in Jharia are burning and limiting habitable areas due to frequent subsidence and lack of resettlement and rehabilitation further pushes communities to the brink. Belgarhia resettlement colony, the first to accomodate 1,000+ families is not an example people tell with a pride, it is riddled with problems. More and more people frequent to Jharia hospital every week complaining of asthma and TB, says a news report. When we interacted with several medical practitioners in coal belts of Asansol and Angul during the past few months, respiratory diseases topped the diseases known across these coal belts. It points to requirement of more robust and regular screening of communities in such polluted environments for proper diagnosis and treatment. R&R seems too far to be realised, one in terms of quantum and the other in qualitative assessment of socio-economic and cultural requirements but it has to be fast tracked while equal importance to community health cannot be wished away! Read more