October 26, 2012

The unfortunate social costs of Coalgate and such scams

India’s scams and corruption are perennially ubiquitous – they keep recurring time and again. There is hardly a month that goes unnoticed without any major scam breaking out. It is not that there isn’t any scam elsewhere, but barring some sub-Saharan and Asian rogue states ruled by the junta, the scale and magnitude of Indian scams have outperformed every other nation by an unprecedented margin of frequency and scale. Typically, a scam exposé starts off with media frenzy and then gets lost into thin air! The typical Indian middle class’ short memories, inevitably brushes the scam off, and then the judiciary typically bails out the accused, and everything is business as usual. Even though media spotlight continues on the case for a while, the same mostly focuses on the economic aspect of it, largely ignoring the enormous social impact. Mostly, the multi-million dollar scams that prop up every now and then have huge negative externalities both at the regional and national level.

Let me talk a little about the recent scam, which has been rocking the nation – Coalgate! Coal mining – the lifeline of thermal power that constitutes around 66 per cent of installed capacities in power generation in India – is very inefficiently run, and I’m being graciously modest when I say that. The sector is marred by massive pilferage and corruption with open disregard to environment and conservation. However, there are many other serious ground concerns that have been missed amidst the entire current hullabaloo. To start with, the mandatory regulation of open cast and underground mining requirement is flouted openly, causing health hazards on account of environmental degradation per se. The corruption level is beyond one’s wildest imagination. Sample this: even the sand purchased to fill the old mines is being sold in the open markets for petty gains!

There have been waves of protests in most of the coal mining states – particularly socially conscious Maharashtra – against pollution, environment hazards, and land acquisition... but nothing much was done. Land procurement is done by the government, and also by the private coal mining companies, which have very little respect for the laws, and who have very little good-faith negotiations with the land owners! And mind you, these activities are on since decades, even before any coal scam was discovered.
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14 comments:

TATAN said...

Every year,green belt turns into a rocky terrain, which eventually becomes unfi t for human habitation.

Atanu said...

Media mostly focuses on economic aspect,they should think of social aspect too.

Dipti Nayak said...

These power cuts are taking our breath.

Rahul said...

I usually read all the articles of Arindam chaudhuri as i did this and for me,he alway talks about a very nice and unique issue on which we have to think and always remain unnoticed...

Raj said...

Fed up of this corruption,only 40 percent of consumers pay their elecricity bill regularly and every year we are loosing 40,000 crore due to this corruption.

Vijay Singh RY said...

Power companies are facing losses due to not getting proper electricity bill,and they are taking this compensation from a common man.

pankaj said...

Take any of the scam in India,ou will find one word i.e. "CORRUPTION".

suman kumari said...

Every resource is dependent on other as coal mining on power and power on fuel and food.We have to save all this for our future generation.

Nutan Xalxo said...

one of the most expensive Scams in world and after this India is at the top in the list of Scams.

Nutan Xalxo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Sangeeta Raipuria said...

-----Very soon India will be on top of the most corrupted nation in the world with the way scams have been coming into light off late.

Rajesh Sharma said...

power cut is a major issue which should be resolved soon...

NaLimA KaPooR said...

Better info on your blog than what I have seen so far elsewhere.
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