This Is India -- TII

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A correspondent's thoughts on food, wildlife, transport, and…

Choke Point: Meghalaya’s “Swiss-Cheesed” Hills, Increasing Violence a Stark Reminder of Cost of Coal

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To the best of anyone’s knowledge – and that includes a tribunal of senior jurists who heard testimony in the state capitol, Shillong, on January 24 – 15 men drowned in a coal mine in Meghalaya’s mineral-rich Garo Hills on July 6, 2012.

Torrent of Water and Questions Pour From India’s Himalayas

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One year later, Circle of Blue's senior editor Keith Schneider returns to India for our second round of reporting on water, food, energy problems in the region.

Map: India's Energy Reserves, Capacity, and Potential Renewable Energy (2008-2012)

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Click through the interactive infographic to see how India, the world’s fastest-growing nation with the second-highest population, races to meet rising demand for energy.

Chhattisgarh's Coal Crux

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Most abundant in Chhattisgarh and the neighboring eastern states of Jharkhand and Odisha, India’s coal belt cinches the nation round the middle, tapering off in its westward stretch to both the south and north.

Breaking India’s Cycle of Waste and Risk

Small-scale projects offer solutions to India’s water, food, and energy choke points. Still, India's government seems determined to duplicate the frantic program of industrial development, economic growth, centralization, and one-size-fits-all silver bullets that China and the West are pursuing. The consequence is an endemic pattern of resource waste that is firmly embedded in India’s political system, causing economic and ecological havoc.

Mismanagement of Abundance: Constellation of Coal Mines Across India Not Enough to Prevent Blackouts

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Despite the push for renewable energy alternatives to address water and climate concerns, India plans to keep coal as its primary source of electricity. But corruption, bureaucracy, slow environmental reviews, and inefficient transmission lines are hampering domestic production and causing unstable power supply.
India Naraingarh Haryana Vinod Ashoka Gupta Shivshakti Rice Mill grain buyer production harvest depot trader seller water food energy choke point circle of blue wilson center j. carl ganter

Haryana's Food Processors

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In an attempt to remove risk from the grain-producing economy, India guarantees that it will purchase at generous prices and mill at no cost to producers every kernel of wheat and almost every grain of rice that its farmers grow.
India Punjab Nawanshar Pam Sekhon Dhaliwal family farm farming farmer Green Revolution winter wheat rice paddies harvest crop cropland tractor poplar aspen electricity electric groundwater well pump flood irrigation water food energy choke point circle of blue wilson center j. carl ganter

Punjab's Food Producers

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Before the Green Revolution of the mid-1960s, growers in northern India produced an elegant feast of native fruits, grains, and vegetables. By the 1980s, Punjab and Haryana states had together become the largest rice and wheat producers in India.
India Chandigarh Punjab Irrigation Department K.S. Takshi groundwater recharge rate urbanization well pump reservoir canal surface water food energy choke point circle of blue wilson center j. carl ganter

Chandigarh, Shared Capital of Punjab and Haryana

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Home to 1 million, Chandigarh is considered the 'cleanest city' in India. It also has the highest per capita income, thanks in large part to the agricultural boom since the Green Revolution of the 1960s in both Punjab and Haryana states of northern India.

Scarcity in a Time of Surplus: Free Water and Energy Cause Food Waste and Power Shortage in India

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Farm policies intended to remove risk from the grain-producing economy have pulled India from the perennial fear of famine. But inefficient bureaucracy and rampant corruption also promote the squandering of resources and a glut of food that is not reaching the poor.
India water food energy choke point infographic graphic data coal groundwater scarcity bureaucracy

Infographic: Water, Food, and Energy Choke Points in India

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India's resource problems are not those of scarcity, but rather of inefficient use and bureaucratic policies.