ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Preparing for a Just Transition Away from Coal

Proposal for a Closed Coalfield Land Rights and Restitution Act

The dominance of coal for Indian energy security might, finally, be about to reduce as increasing demands are made for a just transition to cleaner and more community-friendly forms of energy. Possibilities for mine-affected communities to take control of the coalfield lands that will become abandoned by the inevitable closure of coal are explored.

Providing justice for millions of coal-affected communities in the transition away from coal is clearly going to be a major challenge. And yet, there may also exist opportunities within this overall difficult scenario because the closing of coal mines will open up land for restitution as major areas can be returned to communities. In this brief article we envision abandoned coal mines, especially if closing on the mass scale that climate scientists state is required, turned into productive resources for those who need them the mostcoalfield communities. We do this by asking if the time has come to demand a Closed Coalfield Land Rights and Restitution Act (CCLRRA), following the model set by the The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (FRA), to return significant areas of land as coal becomes a fuel of the past.

Coal is the king and paramount lord of industry is an old saying in the industrial world. Industrial greatness has been built on coal by many countries. In India, coal is the most important indigenous energy resource and remains the dominant fuel for power generation and many industrial applications (Supreme Court of India 2014).

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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