Poverty in mineral rich regions

It is something I have noticed a few times now. Regions rich in mineral resources are poor. No idea why this is so, but one has to wonder if mining harms the interests of the region in ways beyond the obvious.

Some examples off the top of my head.

Vidarbha in Maharashtra has rich mineral resources and crippling poverty. As state pushes for increased mining, the tribals are pushing back.

Orissa as a state has some of the richest mineral resources in India, but is among the poorest states. The locals know well that mining harms.

Similar patterns in Jharkhand.

Balochistan in Pakistan is also mineral rich and desperately deprived.

Sichuan in China-occupied-Tibet…

How is this so? If minerals are wealth, where is the wealth going? Why are the people of mineral rich places so desperately poor? If minerals are not wealth, why shouldn’t mining be stopped and something else started there?

Why is it that proponents of development keep criticising opposition to mining from local citizens?

Your views?

  • Vidyut
  • Vidyut has a keen interest in mass psychology and using it as a lens to understand contemporary politics, social inequality and other dynamics of power within the country. She is also into Linux and internet applications and servers and has sees technology as an important area India lacks security in.

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