In India’s resource-rich Meghalaya State, demand for coal is transforming the environment and the people who depend on it. Coal mine owners are prospering from booming production, but few laws regulate the dangerous and polluting practice known as “rat-hole” mining. Until now.
A new government tribunal recently banned all coal mining in the region, effectively shutting down the economy. Mine owners and workers staged protests, while people living downstream are struggling to cope with dead rivers that once provided their livelihoods, food, and drinking water. Nepalese migrants who crossed the border to work in the mines are stuck in the middle.
Broken Landscape examines the lives of those on the front lines of India’s water-energy choke point.