Socio-economic Impact of Mining on Rural Communities: A Study of the Ib Valley Coalfield in Odisha

Das, Nabanita (2015) Socio-economic Impact of Mining on Rural Communities: A Study of the Ib Valley Coalfield in Odisha. PhD thesis.



Natural resources are an integral part of all human civilization. Again, natural resources that can either be renewable or non-renewable, affords adequate atmosphere towards economic development. Coal as a form of non-renewable natural resource is obtainable through excavation. But in the process, it is often regarded as a socially and environmentally stubborn substance. In India, the process of globalization has encouraged the industrial giants to mine the natural resources which have witnessed a virtuous symbol of economic activity since then. By introducing this resource-extraction industry, the unindustrialised realms are earning substantial section of foreign exchange and at the same time subsidising obviously to the growth of gross domestic product. At the onset, the new mining projects necessitated massive acres of land to execute their operation and started convincing the mass by providing a better income earning environment as well as the infrastructural developments like well-connected roads, electricity, health care facilities etc. But the fruit of development cannot be fortified by overlooking the source and means of living of the project affected communities. Moreover, the by-products of coal mining such as loss of agro-based livelihood, decrease of natural capital, pollution and ill health are becoming the matter of concern globally. In this background the present study was undertaken by taking three specific objectives: first, to analyse the impact of coal mining on the local communities and their livelihood with special reference to Ib Valley coalfield; second, to explore the impact of coal mining on the rural social structure; and finally, to assess the adverse effects of coal mining on the health condition of rural people. To attain these objectives, the present research was carried out in the Ib Valley Coalfield, a subsidiary of Mahanadi Coalfields Limited. Much before the instigation of field work a pilot study was conducted and on the basis of that pilot study, six mining affected villages and two control villages were selected in the same district and within the same agro-climatic zone. While mining affected villages were selected within the vicinity of three kilometres from mining, control villages were selected around twenty kilometres distance from the active mining region. Using the systematic random sampling method, a sample of 50 households from each village was undertaken. Thus a total of 400 such households (300 from mining affected villages and 100 from control villages) were taken as sample for the study. Data were collected by employing both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Primary data were collected using household schedule, case study, observation methods and some unstructured questionnaires. Discussions were organized with public and other stakeholders. In depth interview was also held with officials from the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited, State Government, NGO personnel, and local leaders. For secondary information, government records, newspaper articles and other available literatures were reviewed. Then the data were analysed by using SPSS software. The findings of the research conclude that mining has given rise to positive implications on financial capital and can be held responsible for mixed impacts on human and physical capital. In one aspect, it is providing a wider atmosphere for diversified sources of livelihood generation; on the other aspect it has alienated the project affected rural communities from their traditional agro-based livelihoods. Subsequently, with the introduction of mining projects, the network ties among the mining affected mass is getting disturbed and the traditional base of structural aspect has lost its significance. Results also indicate that along with improved infrastructure, it has ironically created conducive condition for pollution of air, water and noise that in turn are responsible for varied health issues. Though the provision of medical assistance is available, it is only restricted to the workforce of MCL and others are not fortunate enough to avail any benefit.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Livelihood, Ib Valley, agriculture, social structure, health
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Industrial Sociology
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:6913
Deposited By:Mr. Sanat Kumar Behera
Deposited On:11 Jan 2016 14:39
Last Modified:11 Jan 2016 14:39
Supervisor(s):Mishra, N

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