Black gold

Coal scenario in India – an overview

Summary: Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel resource in the country. India, currently, stands eighth in terms of total World Coal Resources, whereas it is fourth from the point of view of identified reserves. As on 31.03.2011, the coal reserves, estimated by the ­Geological Survey of India up to the depth of 1200 m stand at 285.8 billion tonnes. Coal production achieved in the country during the year 2010–11 has been 533.07 million tonnes. About 87 % of coal resources lie within the depth range of 600 metres. Coal ­deposits in India are confined to eastern, southern and central parts of the country. In the present policy of free market economy, government is removing controls on industry and trade, reducing the tariff on import and allowing private investment in companies even up to majority share holding by private/foreign sources.

1 Geology and Reserves of Indian coal

Coal is the most abundant fossil fuel resource in the country. At present, India stands eighth in terms of the total world coal resources, whereas it is fourth from the point of view of identified reserves.


The coal deposits in India are mainly distributed along the present day river valleys i.e. Damodar Valley, Sone-­Mahanadi Valley, Pench-Kanhan Valley, Wardha-Godavari Valley etc. There are 69 major coalfields located in the peninsula India besides 17 located in the north-eastern region. The bulk of the coal reserves are confined to the south-eastern...

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