Image: Representative picture of a mine; Image source: The Economic Times

Kashmir the answer to revolutionize India’s future EV industry, but what must Kashmir give for India to take further strides towards an electric future?

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In accordance to the estimates by The Ministry of Commerce and Industries, between the start of the last fiscal year in April to the end of 2022 in December, the Indian government coughed up nearly Rs 163 Billion in Lithium and Lithium-ion imports. Lithium is a highly sought after component in its use in the batteries of electric vehicles. However, there’s also a high demand for lithium for making consumer electronics, as well as in the glass and ceramics industry.

In such an instance, the discovery……of the immense and overstating endless lithium reserves of at least 5.9 million tonnes in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, that could possibly be tapped into in the near future, the cost of importing the alkali metal could be greatly minimized and possibly even negated. India emerging as a major exporter of Lithium could also become a reality.

However, while industry leaders and manufacturers couldn’t help but be excited, we must also take a moment to address the negative aspects of Lithium mining, especially for an underdeveloped and inadequately equipped state like Kashmir.

This is because removing these raw materials can result in soil degradation, water shortages, biodiversity loss, damage to ecosystem functions and an increase in global warming. With the example of large exporting countries Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia we come to know how continued and large scale lithium mining can infest the fresh water reserves turning them salty and unfit for human consumption. Also to note, Kashmir as a state is heavily dependent on it’s natural beauty, and most of its income is from tourism. Therefore, damage to that asset could have adverse effects on the state’s economy. Furthermore, while the initiation of mining could be seen in the next decade or earlier, a continued large scale profit and it’s development as a feasible source of income for the state and country could take a far longer period.

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