The field visits to Jharkhand and interaction with some stakeholders in the coal value chain throws light on the plight of local people on the ground in the wake of closure or reduced mining, their overall preparedness towards a transition from coal, and the need for the planned closure of coal mining in an inclusive way to ensure the resilience of communities in and around mines. The varied views and anecdotes captured here open up the space for further deliberation and collective planning to adapt to the changing technological, socioeconomic, environmental demands and mitigate future risks.
Old contractors’ diary:Way back in 1996, Fagu Chaudhury used to work as a contractor for CCL (Rajrappa Project) and used to engage local youth as labourers primarily for loading coal. He narrated how the local populace was solely dependent on coal only and was the only visible avenue to make quick money as opposed to rain-fed agriculture and return therein from the meager land. Even 3-4 years ago one could see trucks lining up around colliery belts and at least 1500 labor could be seen busy loading coal. This has become an occasional affair and the KantaGhar, once a Today owing to mine closure and or relatively lesser mining and transporting coal to steel industry townships around through rail route reduced opportunities for local labour.