Target: President of India, Pranab Mukherjee
Goal: Investigate illegal coal mines and shut down those egregious violators
The Coalgate scandal in India has many government officials in an uproar, as the event revealed that 46 coal mines in India were operating illegally due to an extremely corrupt government. However, officials are urging India’s Supreme Court not to close these coal mines as they provide power to many citizens in the country. Closing the mines would be disastrous, as many would be without power. Whether the Supreme Court decides to close these mines or not, the fact of the matter is these coal mines must be investigated for any egregious violations. If these mines pose a safety hazard to the workers or the environment, they must be shut down immediately.
Recently, the Supreme Court of India found that every coal mining license that was handed out by the government was illegal. The court found that the government would hand out the licenses to friends and allies of officials during the years 1993 to 2009. India’s attorney general Mukul Rohatgi said the court was “not protecting anyone” and any licenses that would be revoked would be immediately sold off so there wouldn’t be any hiccups in the economy. With coal supplying the country with more than two-thirds of the nation’s power, government officials are concerned that this scandal will harm the economy and its people.
It should be the court’s priority to dismiss those that were affiliated with the corruption, and those who got their licenses illegally should have them revoked. The court should also take its time to ensure that this process is carried out diligently and without corrupt officials interfering. Also, the Supreme Court should launch an immediate investigation into whether these coal mines present a hazard to the workers and the environment.
If these licenses were acquired illegally, chances are good that the owners never took proper care of their facility. The burning of coal produces massive amounts of green house gases, which contributes to climate change, and negligent owners will skirt environmental policies if it will earn them more profits. Urge the President of India to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted on all of the 46 illegally licensed coal mines.
Dear President Pranab Muhkerjee,
I understand that your country is currently trying to grapple with the effects of the Coalgate scandal. I find it unfortunate that the Indian government was so corrupt, but in light of these events, the nation also has a chance to correct it. I hope that all of these illegally obtained licenses will be revoked by the Supreme Court.
I also urge you to launch a thorough and transparent investigation into these coal mines. I implore you to find out if these mines pose a health hazard to the workers, residents, and the surrounding environment. As you well know, coal is considered a dirty resource, one that contributes to the warming of the planet. I fear that these miners have been contributing substantially to this problem and I want you to correct it. Please ensure that all miners are in compliance with policies before giving them permission to reopen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Herry Lawford via Wikimedia Commons