Power plants fired up by coal are essential for India as they provide 55 per cent of India's energy, but reliance on fossil fuel is a hurdle for the transition to green energy, which Adani is betting on. At the same time, the conglomerate has continued to buy more coal blocks, and had even courted controversy overseas for mining in Australia, long before it was hit by the Hindenburg report.
Now reports suggest that the clearance of 3,000 acres of forests in Chattisgarh for expansion of Adani's coal mine, had been cleared even though the existing mine still has tonnes of coal.
Expanding in the wrong direction?
This was revealed by a government-funded study conducted by the Wildlife Institute of India and the Council of Forestry Research in the Hasdeo Arand coalfield.
While looking at the ecological impact of Adani's Parsa East and Kanta Basan mine, researchers found that the soil removed to extract coal was lower than expected.
This means that tonnes of coal was still unextracted and Adani decided to expand the mine horizontally instead of digging deeper for the rest of the coal.
Impact on ecology and Adivasis
Such an expansion of the mine, of which Adani owns 74 per cent and the rest is held by Rajasthan's state power company, means that 2.5 lakh trees over more than 1,100 hectares will be wiped out.
It also involves the complete displacement of the entire village of Ghatbarra, which also triggered protests by Adivasis.
Even though the Rajasthan government under Congress sought the expansion and the central BJP government cleared it, the project was halted due to opposition from locals.
Controversies continue to haunt Adani
Months have passed since the Adani-Hindenburg fiasco shook up the conglomerate and India's political discourse, but the controversies refuse to die down.
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Adani won the auction for a coal mine while competing with a year-old, smaller firm, linked to it and named in the Hindenburg report.
Another interesting fact is that while the Congress accused the BJP regime in the centre of favouring Adani for coal blocks, its government in Rajasthan continues to work with the conglomerate on the Chattisgarh mines.
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