Oct 31, 2023
Coal is an important resource for any country, but what if it becomes a crisis for the people living nearby? This is the story of the people of Jhariya in Jharkhand, where the coal reserves have turned into a nightmare for the locals. Let's know about the story of the Jhariya natives here:
In the era of the energy crisis, Jharkhand is an important place in India, with Dhanbad being one of the most coal-producing areas in Jharkhand. As per the Geological Survey of India, it is estimated that Jharkhand can fulfill around 70 years of energy requirements needs of the country. The coal capital of India, Dhanbad, is of great importance to India, but Jharia is a place that is the key source of coal reserves. But the question is how why the coal reserves are becoming a nightmare for the people living here.
For the last 3 decades, the locals of Jhariya have been struggling due to the coal reserves as the ground of this town is constantly sinking, and the underground fire is making its way to the surface, surging fear in the locals. As per the locals, they are in constant fear of not surviving another day as the cracks can be seen on their houses due to the heat, and the ground can burst anytime. About 70 sites of this town have been marked as very dangerous, while 500 sites are marked dangerous by the government, yet a large population of people can be seen residing here despite the constant fear of death.
There have been several incidents of people getting killed and injured due to coal reserves in this town. From 2015 to 2017 alone, being at 17 killed and 27 injured people reported due to the sinking ground of Jhariya.
As per the reports, it is estimated that around rupees 2311 crores have been spent by the government to douse the fire. Amritlal Meena, the ministry of cone secretary, is reported to have met the chief minister of Jharkhand, Mr. Hemant Soren, in the month of January this year for the solution of Jhariya. They have come to a conclusion to relocate the locals of Jhariya to a safer place. But the locals are not yet satisfied with the plan as a similar plan was set by the Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority, as per which by 2021, about 79000 families were supposed to relocate, but only 5% of the family, i.e., 4049 families have been relocated, as per reports from the Ministry of Coal.
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Although the government is taking steps to improve the situation of Jhariya, they are going at a slow pace. The people at Jhariya are unhappy with the current situation and also are not sure about the unemployment issues that they are facing. They are not employed, and the houses are already cracked. This is leading to a restless and depressed population of Jhariya. We can only hope the Government of Jharkhand takes the right steps to help the native of Jhariya and evacuates them safely.