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Opencast coal mining and rural livelihoods: a study of Sonepur-Bazari mine in Raniganj coalfield area, West Bengal, India


  • Rakhi Mondal

    (The University of Burdwan)

  • Biswaranjan Mistri

    (The University of Burdwan)


The demand of coal has led to expand the mining activities nationwide, which helps to improve the economic growth of the national capital. At the same time, it is the source of inevitable social and environmental consequences. In the developing countries, especially rural areas are often affected by this complex nature of mining. The local livelihood suffers most by mining-induced displacement and land acquisition. This research article examines the impacts of coal mining on financial, physical, human, natural, and social capitals and how these capitals affect the rural livelihood practices in the Sonepur-Bazari opencast coal mining area in Raniganj coalfield of West Bengal, India. Data for this investigation have primarily obtained from the Sonepur-Bazari area with the help of structured questionnaire. Findings indicate that the rural communities are affected positively as well as negatively by the mining activities. Acquisition of land due to expansion of mining has provided monetary and job compensations to the local land losers that directly and indirectly enhance the local economy, but the job opportunities are very much limited to the landholders. Monetary compensation has helped to increase the physical capital among the communities. On the other hand, natural and social capitals are adversely affected by the mining and associated activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Rakhi Mondal & Biswaranjan Mistri, 2021. "Opencast coal mining and rural livelihoods: a study of Sonepur-Bazari mine in Raniganj coalfield area, West Bengal, India," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 34(3), pages 477-490, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:34:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-021-00271-6
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-021-00271-6

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    References listed on IDEAS

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