Coal Fraud to Fuel Hunger
In a scenario where 200 children under the age of five are dying every hour in this country, due to malnourishment and other reasons, your story is an ironic reminder that it happens despite the resources to combat such tragic anomalies. It proves such tragedies are a betrayal of the most oppressed classes by the country.
Refer to ‘ Coal Spill’ by Ashish Khetan, 11 August. Thank you for this additional clarity. Wish this is widely read. With best wishes.
KIRAN BEDI, ON EMAIL Just wanted to add: the whole mine-grabbing issue will be clear when people realise that even Jindal Photo Films, which makes camera rolls for Fujifilm in India and is in no way related to any industry, has got coal mine allocation just because it was proposing to set up a power plant. It’s obvious that corruption had a role here and, of course, also the fact that it was the Jindals. There are many such cases. If Jairam Ramesh had not interfered, these crooks, too, would have been successful in their loot. Take the issue of surplus coal utilisation, involving the ADAG group. Even aer all the final approvals were in place, an additional note got attached stating that since a new mine is located adjacent to the existing allocation, we can give that too to ADAG. You can access the documents via RTI. This case is currently being heard in the Supreme Court, where the Tatas have placed their objections. However, in the SC it pertains only to whether excess coal can be diverted; no one has yet looked into how this mine got allocated. This mine was first allocated to Lanco group, then ADAG, alleging some technical issue, grabbed this mine from it. Also, beyond coal mines, does anyone have an answer to this: ONGC, India’s premier oil company whose main objective is to seek and drill prospective oil, has been unsuccessful in hitting a big discovery in India for decades now, whereas Reliance industries, in its very first attempt, hit a jackpot in the KG-D6 basin. It’s not luck alone.
ANONYMOUS, ON EMAIL I wanted to tell you that I vastly liked your story on the coal scam. I hope you will keep writing on this. Warm regards.
RAJ SHEKHAR, ON EMAIL
Refer to ‘ The World According to Shashi’ by Shougat Dasgupta, 21 July. Shougat, a quick note of congratulations: terrific review of Pax Indica and Shashi Tharoor’s foibles. Nicely done!
RAKESH MANI, ON EMAIL
Refer to ‘ The Bat Goes Nuclear’ by Shougat Dasgupta, 4 August. So glad that you referenced Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings! I Totally agree. However, I take exception to this: ‘It’s a film for teenage boys (spiritually and literally)’. Reason: Neither you nor I – nor many who will appreciate your review – would have liked such stuff even when we were in our