Reportage on a planet without equitable or sustainable development.
On why the institutional action being taken to clean up coal is necessary but not sufficient
On Tuesday, ET carried a small update on how the institutional response to coal-gate was shaping up. That article ended by concluding it will take more than these responses to clean up the suppurating mess in the indian coal sector.
A story by my brilliant friend/colleague Avinash Celestine and me in today’s ET Magazine elaborates on that theme. We argue that while a lot of government (and media) attention is focusing on the lack of auctions, politicians slipping coal blocks to friends, family and — possibly — pets, and companies dragging their feet on the blocks given to them, a mass of other questions are not getting the scrutiny they deserve. These include the one-sided contracts PSUs are signing with private cos for extracting coal (See this and this), the poorly understood and explained crisis in coal india, the role of the bureaucrats in perpetuating the status quo, the statistical jugglery while quantifying india’s coal reserves, political rent-seeking…
I am an Indian journalist with interests in energy, environment, climate and India’s ongoing slide into right-wing authoritarianism. My book, Despite the State, an examination of pervasive state failure and democratic decay in India, was published by Westland Publications, India, in January 2021. My work has won the Bala Kailasam Memorial Award; the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award; and five Shriram Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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