With 10 power plants and 16 coal mines in it, the Singrauli-Sonbhadra region has been coined the ‘Energy capital of India’; understandably, it is high on the list of critically polluted areas of the country. Jagat Narayan Viswakarma, a petitioner in the National Green Tribunal's case in 2013 against the Union Government of India for pollution in the area, estimates that about 500 deaths occur every year here. Rarely, though, if ever, is the cause of death ascribed to heavy metal contamination.
“Linking ailments to specific pollutants requires specialised testing. The few laboratories that should be equipped to conduct the tests, never end up releasing the results - either they actually don’t have the capacity to or they’re being persuaded not to let the results come out.”
— Prof. G. D Agrawal of Banwasi Sewa Ashram, the first Member-Secretary of India's Central Pollution Control Board.
LEFT: JAYANT OPEN CAST MINES RIGHT: PHOTO OF RAJU WHO DIED OF A 'STOMACH AILMENT', GARIYA
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