Burning for over 100 years, Jharkhand’s underground fire affects 5 lakh (500000) people


Jharia coal field has been burning underground for over a hundred years, as residents living across 250 sqkm sit on a ticking time bomb. .  .  .”


Yesterday we saw in a program of the “Deutsche Welle” this story which I copied and published in my blog page:


The question is: Why are these fires not being extinguished?

India creates a record, allows Jharia coalmine fires to burn for a century

Jayanta Gupta| TNN | Feb 10, 2016, 12.18 PM IST

I found the following in the above article. I ask myself, why are governments so weak and are unable or unwilling to do what is necessary for the people and for the environment?

So here I copy the last part of the above article by Iavant Gupta:

“It was recognized by BCCL that some of the fires not only cause severe environmental threat through emission of steam, smoke and noxious gases but also pose a serious health hazard to inhabitants.

 “They bring forth irreplaceable damage to land and scarce water resources. And above all, it endangers surface structures and human lives with the potentiality to cause disaster. The existing fire scenario in Jharia Coalfield continue to be alarming and there is urgent need to address the problem in right perspective,” was admitted by BCCL in 2014, when it invited Expressions of Interest from companies across the world.
Only two companies participated in the process. One of them was from India and the other from Germany. On April 24, 2015, a meeting of the technical committee of BCCL was held in Dhanbad, Jharkhand. The participating companies were asked to clarify queries and give presentations regarding their experience and expertise in the presence of 39 experts from BCCL. The only participant was the company from Germany that has been quenching coal mine fires since 1880.
 “We have quenched coal mine fires in Germany and also in China. In India, we have tracked fires in the Nimcha and Samdih mines of West Bengal under Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL). With our expertise, these fires were extinguished. During the presentation, we made it clear that resources can be mined progressively even as the fires are extinguished. No relocation of the population will be required either. Our company would only be providing the technical support.

All other work would be carried out by Indians. It has been over nine months now but we have received no communication from BCCL. Finally, we wrote to the Prime Minister and were directed by his office to take the matter up with the coal ministry. On communicating with the coal ministry, we were asked to get in touch with Coal India Ltd and BCCL. This makes no sense. They were the ones who have remained silent after the 2014 meeting. We are running around in circles here. Now we are hearing convoluted statements that there is no technology in the world to deal with such fires. This is incorrect. The truth is that there seems to be a lack of will in tackling the fires, We could have been told earlier and would not have wasted our efforts here” said a member of the DMT Group of Germany that had participated in the EoI.”


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