Now, the fact, the Western Coalfields Limited’s top bosses are “greedy” for hogging the limelight and getting publicity by local print media or even electronic media, has come true. Nothing is wrong in the “greed” if the publicity is for good cause or beneficial actions for people at large. However, the ground reality is contradictory. The WCL bosses are most of the times in the limelight for their irresponsible, shabby styles of works the WCL carries out.
The WCL bosses, well apprised of severe water shortage in many areas, in many cities, in many states of the country during the fiery summer or even otherwise, have turned their “vision” to other side of the situation on water front. The WCL bosses are selective turning a Nelson’s eye over the fact that WCL’s mines near Kanhan are throwing lakhs, and lakhs of literes of water to the drains.
Kamptee Open Cast mine functioning from 1986-87, Inder Open Cast mine functioning from 2005, Godegaon Project Open Cast mine functioning from 1994 come under eight kilometres perimeter of Kanhan area. Previously, the areas were full of gardens of oranges, guavas, bananas, sweet limes (Mosambi), agriculture crops, vegetables before the above-mentioned mines came into existence. And the respective farmers thrived and prospered by harnessing the crops various fruits and vegetables since the water was available in huge quantity in the areas.
However, the picture changed dramatically and, dreadfully, too, when the WCL mines occupied the areas and the mines started drawing all the water sources the areas were once blessed with towards the mine areas due to the excavations of coal in massive proportions. Now, the situation has come to such a pass that the mines flooded with large quantity of water due to excavations, have been disposing of the logged water out of the mines through powerful motor pumps thus depriving the nearby residential areas of precious water as the sources of drinking water like traditional wells, bore-wells, small or big tanks have gone totally dry. Though some wells or rivers have water but level is almost touching bottoms of wells and rivers due to continuous excavations of mines. All major water sources have been “lured” by the mines leaving the residents in nearby areas “high and dry.”
The coal particles and dusts are causing a pollution in great proportion adding poisonous woes to the water-starved residents, badly affecting the agriculture crops etc. The pollution has changed the pattern of weather making it hotter and hotter, triggering various kinds of diseases, and most importantly, the Kanhan-Kandri towns with over 40,000 population have been gripped by acute shortage of drinking water.
The former Lok Sabha member from Ramtek constituency, Prakash Jadhav, has justifiably demanded that instead of dumping the logged water in the mines into the drains, the water could be stored in a big reservoir, and after purification process, it can be supplied to nearby areas for drinking purpose. Jadhav has urged the WCL and Maharashtra Government to construct a water purification plant in the area. “The purified water could turn to be useful for many purposes like agriculture, increasing the water levels of wells and bore-wells, providing enough water to trees,” said a confident Jadhav. If his demands are not met by the WCL and Maharashtra Government, Jadhav said, he will hold a “Water meeting” and protest against the issue in a special Shiv Sena way, warned Jadhav.