Protests against plans for the Gevra site in the eastern province of Chhattisgarh threaten to complicate Coal India Ltd’s ability to win approvals to expand annual capacity to 70 million tons
The Coal Mine In Gevra, Chhattisgarh (Photo: Bloomberg)
Coal India Ltd. is holding talks with residents opposed to a mine expansion that would create one of the world’s largest operations producing the fuel.
Protests against plans for the Gevra site in the eastern province of Chhattisgarh threaten to complicate the company’s ability to win approvals to expand annual capacity to 70 million tons. Output at that volume would see the site become the single biggest global source of the fossil fuel, according to Coal India.
Rising power demand has pushed India to prioritize energy security and boost output of coal, which continues to account for about 70% of electricity generation.
Residents of the area close to Gevra have raised concerns over air pollution, the impact on ground water levels and compensation for acquired land, said Deepak Sahu, joint secretary for Korba district — where the mine is located — at Chhattisgarh Kisan Sabha, a farmers’ union in the state.
Coal India and its subsidiaries have faced challenges in ramping up other operations, including in Chhattisgarh, and a public hearing was held this week at the Gevra site.