Displaced pp 123-149 | Cite as

Our fields have gone, our lifestyle has changed

Coal Mining in India
  • Olivia Bennett
  • Christopher McDowell
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Oral History book series (PSOH)


Interviewed in 2001, some 15 years after Central Coalfields Limited (CCL) began to take over the agricultural land used by his community, Sadhan Prajapati described the enormous changes that mining had brought to the villagers of Benti, where he grew up, and the surrounding areas. The Damodar Valley, where Benti lies, is in Jharkhand state and contains huge reserves of coal, and the land and homes of many communities have been lost to the vast open-pit mines and heavy infrastructure of CCL.


Brilliant Green Common Property Resource Cash Compensation Village Council Resettlement Site 
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  1. 2.
    See Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, “Illegal Coal Mining in Eastern India: Rethinking Legitimacy and Limits of Justice,” Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 42, No. 49 (December 8–14, 2007), 57–67.Google Scholar
  2. Reprinted in 2009 as a chapter in Key Texts on Social Justice in India: State of Justice in India, Issues of Social Justice, edited by Sanam Roohi and Ranabir Samaddar, 294–323 (New Delhi: Sage, 2009).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    From Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Radhika Krishnan, and Nesar Ahmad, “Private Coal-mining Companies in Jharkhand, Land Acquisition and Dispossession: A New Paradigm of Mining in India,” Economic and Political Weekly (Mumbai, India: forthcoming 2012), 10 of draft.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    See Michael Cernea and Hari Mohan Mathur, eds., Can Compensation Prevent Impoverishment? Reforming Resettlement through Investments (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2008).Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    It is the World Bank’s Inspection Panel Report No. 24000—Investigation Report/India: Coal Sector Environmental and Social Mitigation Project (Credit No. 2862-IN) (Washington D. C.: World Bank, 2002).Google Scholar
  6. 12.
    Ministry of Home Affairs, Report of Committee on Rehabilitation of Displaced Tribals Due to Development Projects (New Delhi: Government of India, 1985).Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    For more on Coal India’s policy, see Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Nesar Ahmad, “Considering Gender in Social Impact Assessments,” in New Directions in Social Impact Assessments: Conceptual and Methodological Advances, edited by Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 2012).Google Scholar

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© Olivia Bennett and Christopher McDowell 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivia Bennett
  • Christopher McDowell

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