An annual nation-wide gathering of affected communities and concerned groups/individuals with the coal mining and thermal power generation in India was held in Dhanbad in Jharkhand from 8th to 10th October, 2017. The meet saw the coming together of ground activists who have worked extensively in the mining areas and affected people who have been suffering for years now. More than 400 people from various states attended the meet where extensive discussions were held relating to mining.
The first day had an introductory session where Sreedhar Ramammurthy addressed the house and explained the background of the fifth Coal and thermal power gathering. The next session was addressed by the local activists from Gare, Angul, Dumka and Korba where they presented about the previous four coal gatherings. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, a noted journalist made a thought invoking presentation on corruption in the power sector. There were presentations about the present regressive coal policies, clean energy fund and district mineral fund which helped the local people in knowing their rights pertaining to the mining in their areas.
The second day also had various discussions on land acquisition policies related to mining, land conflict and water issues, occupational hazards where experts shared their views. A presentation about air pollution was made by Shalini Singh from Environics Trust where she showed the data analysis of the elevated levels of air pollution which she had gathered from mining areas.
On the very last day local activists from the mining areas reported in detail the present status of their respective states. The meeting ended with a resolution to make a committee at three levels, one at the centre, one at state level and the other at the local level. The meeting ended with the resolution to carry on the persistent struggle against the anti-people and regressive policies of the government and the corporate loot.
Presentations from the Meeting
- Acquisition and Alienation
- Monitoring of Air Pollution due to Power Plants & Coal mines
- Coal Based Thermal Power Plants – An update on cases in High Courts
- Occupational Hazards in Thermal Power Plants
- Mapping Land Conflicts in India
- DMF – Yet Another Challenge before the Communities