Between legitimacy and illegality: Informal coal mining at the limits of justice

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Illegal mining is commonly represented in the media as arising from poor policing and corruption in mining tracts. People who are involved in the illicit production and marketing of coal are depicted as large-scale thieves, raiders and destroyers of the environmental commons. This chapter suggests that such mining constitutes a significant aspect of everyday life in the coal-bearing tracts of eastern India. The representation of such mining as posing threat to the well-being of the rest of the community hides unpleasant realities of the coal mining tracts: poor environmental care by large mining projects of both the state-owned and privately-owned mines; social disruption and displacement caused by them through physical relocation and occupational changes of farming and forest-based communities; and general decay in traditional subsistence bases of peasant and indigenous communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Coal Nation: Histories, Ecologies and Politics of Coal in India
    Editors Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
    Place of PublicationFarnham, UK and Burlington, USA
    PublisherAshgate Publishing Ltd.
    ISBN (Print)9781472424709
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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