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E A S Sarma: How sustainable is coal mining in India?

Aside from the Coal India-Greenpeace controversy, the answer lies in geology and the value we assign to ecology

E A S Sarma

Greenpeace, the environment non-governmental organisation (NGO), recently released its study, "Coal India: Running on Empty?", suggesting that the "extractable" coal reserves disclosed by the company in its 2010 initial public offering were overstated by 19 per cent. And, if a more realistic estimate as provided by Coal India Ltd (CIL)'s own subsidiary Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Limited (CMPDIL) were considered, the reserves would not last more than 17 yearsat the projected increase in domestic demand for coal. CIL's response to this was one of ...