Arka Dutta

Of Coal and Fire
Location: Kolkata
Nationality: India
Biography: Arka is an independent photographer. He is based in Kolkata, India and is keen on doing documentary photography. He believes that perhaps there never has been a more important time when visual media should take the front row in serving the... MORE
Public Story
Of Coal and Fire
Copyright Arka Dutta 2023
Date of Work Jul 2016 - Ongoing
Updated May 2019
Topics coal, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Photojournalism
The fire is burning in these hollow grounds for decades, first reported in 1916 AD. Today more than 5 lakh people continue to live a toxic life over it, suffering, but unable to escape in the absence of alternative livelihood.
The rapacity that raised its ugly face in the coal mine areas near Dhanbad and Jharia has destroyed the very ecological soul of the place long back, causing widespread environmental and health problems that have proved immensely difficult to resolve. The area, full of smoking ravines keeps filling the atmosphere with toxic gases, while the hollow grounds are prone to develop large cracks anywhere. Houses getting snuffed out with large chasm occurring on the grounds is more alarmingly frequent. Legal,  illegal, unplanned, open cast, every type of mining has played a role in this but what remains to be seen that how the people and animals who are counting their days on this pyre can be helped. Being one of the pillars of industry, coal mining won't stop - but the value of human lives needs to be respected irrespective of their economic standard.

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Of Coal and Fire by Arka Dutta
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