Roaring trade: mining unleashes tigers on locals in ‘black gold’ ...

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Roaring trade: mining unleashes tigers on locals in ‘black gold’ hub

Coal extraction has not only caused environmental harm but inadvertently created a new habitat for wildlife

Roli Srivastava

The hillocks dotting the coal hub of Chandrapur are a green oasis in the central Indian region pockmarked with coal mines, where even rain puddles are black and a coal-fed thermal power plant belches smoke into the sky.

Yet locals live in fear of these hills – dunes formed with the sand removed from coal mines and covered by a blanket of green – as they have created a new habitat for tigers and other wild animals responsible for a string of devastating attacks.

Coal mining is more commonly criticised by environmentalists for polluting air and water, degrading landscapes and fuelling climate change than for creating new wildlife habitats...

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