Jining: Over 100,000 people have been relocated since the 1990s due to collapsed land caused by coal mining in East China’s Jining city, one of 13 coal production bases in China, the People's Daily reported on Monday.
There were 350,000 mu (23,300 hectares) of sunken land by the end of 2009, and it is still increasing by 30,000 mu per year in Jining, said Liu Xuping, the city’s Director of Bureau of Land and Resources.
In Heshangtang village of Jining, local farmers had to use scissors to harvest wheat as water submerged the sinking field, making it impossible for reaper machines to access it. In another village, a farmer named Bian Wenjie used to have three mu of arable land, but has only half a mu. Although Bian was provided with a new house after relocation, she is worried about what will happen when she gets old and works 15 kilometers away from her home.
The underground water system has been destroyed by the mining, roads and bridges have been ruptured, and water and electrical facilities are damaged, causing an economic loss of 500 million yuan ($73 million) each year.
Liu also said the total area of collapsed land may reach up to 700,000 mu by 2020, affecting more people and reducing the arable area.
According to the report, local government complained it lacked adequate funds to relocate villages affected because most of the tax levied from the mining industry belonged to the provincial and central government.