Coal Fraud to Fuel Hunger

Tehelka - - 20 - SATYA JIT,

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.

COAL HAUL

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 aer 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

PAR EX­CEL­LENCE

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

APT AP­PRO­PRI­A­TION

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

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