Monday, March 11, 2013

Coal Kills at least a Hundred Thousand People In India Per Year!

Dear Friends/Co-Sailors,

A recent path breaking study report just released establishes the death trap being laid by the current economic growth model that pushes for heavy reliance on coal-fired power plants.  This study by Conservation Action Trust, Urban Emissions and Greenpeace finds out that coal kills at least a lakh people per year in India.  

The report says:

In 2011-12, particulate emissions from coal-fired power plants, resulted in an estimated 80,000 to 115,000 premature deaths and more than 20 million asthma cases, which cost the public and the government an estimated 16,000 to 23,000 crores Rupees (USD 3.2 to 4.6 billion). The largest impact of these emissions is felt over the states of Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Indo-Gangetic plain, and most of central-east India.

Besides the emissions from the stack, fugitive dust from coal-handling units and ash ponds (after the disposal from the plants) is of concern, particularly given the expected increase in coal-fi red power plants.  The forward trajectory analysis, using 3-dimensional meteorology, of emissions released at the stacks show that the impacts can be observed farther than 50-100km from the source region, increasing not only ambient concentrations at these receptor points, but also the morbidity and mortality risk.

Additional impacts include deposition of heavy metals and sulphur oxides on agriculture through dry and wet deposition. 

Coal kills, the report confirms.  But these direct impacts are just a part of the story.  In my opinion, the rush for coal fired power plants has already killed millions of farmers by stripping them off their livelihood.   Aptly titled 'Coal Kills', this report is a must read.  You can find it at

Thanks and regards,



  1. Dear Ranjan Pandaji,

    But we should also write to the Pollution control boards and Ministry of Environment and Forests for necessary action. Ironically all the coal deaths are due to illegal mining activities.

  2. Dear Ranjan da,
    Thank you for highlighting this unnoticed outcome of our so-called 'Development'.This is really sad.

  3. Niranjan,
    Thanks. Not all the deaths are due to illegal mining. In fact, the way pollution control boards and ministers are corrupt and hand in glove with the miners, all deaths are due to mining only.