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Unbridled coal extraction and concerns for livelihood: evidences from Odisha, India


  • Tattwamasi Paltasingh

    (Sambalpur University)

  • Jayadev Satapathy

    (Sambalpur University)


Coal mining and its unfavourable consequences have generated global attention. It has further stimulated the paradoxical debate of development and desolation in the contemporary scenario. Since the coal resources are profusely available in India and it is comparatively less expensive, the country has been largely relying on it for its essential and non-essential consumption needs. Coal resources indirectly fulfil many of the modern requirements and comforts. Consequently, mining of minerals in general and coal in particular has become the prime focus. It helps to generate revenue, augment industrialisation and promote employment opportunities in India. Despite these progressive features, the opencast coal mining activities impose serious threats to the livelihood of the local communities. Based on critical review of the relevant literature, the article seeks to exhibit the mineral reserves and coal mining activities at global, national and regional context. The paper has incorporated a special focus on Odisha—a resource-rich state located in eastern part of India. Particularly, the two existing major coalfields—Talcher and Ib valley, situated in western part of the state—have been emphasised. The manifold adverse externalities of the coal mining practices on the livelihood pattern among the affected people have been assessed. Furthermore, the paper aims to examine the mining-induced threats on different livelihood capitals which has given rise to multiple risks and challenges.

Suggested Citation

  • Tattwamasi Paltasingh & Jayadev Satapathy, 2021. "Unbridled coal extraction and concerns for livelihood: evidences from Odisha, India," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 34(3), pages 491-503, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:minecn:v:34:y:2021:i:3:d:10.1007_s13563-021-00272-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s13563-021-00272-5

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chu Thi Que & Marina Nevskaya & Oksana Marinina, 2021. "Coal Mines in Vietnam: Geological Conditions and Their Influence on Production Sustainability Indicators," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-15, October.

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    More about this item


    Coal mining; Development; India; Livelihood; Odisha;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q39 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Other


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