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Bengal develops world’s 2nd largest coal-mine; Operations to start soon

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Bengal has developed the country’s largest and world’s 2nd largest coal mine in Birbhum district, with the Centre allotting the development rights for the Deocha-Pachami coal block to the state. 

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had told recently that her government had successfully implemented the Rs 12,000-crore plan to develop the block, which would create one lakh jobs and usher in rapid economic development in the area.

The block is located in the southwestern part of Birbhum coalfields, adjoining the Dewanganj block. It is spread over an area of 9.7 sq km and estimated to have in-place reserves of 2,102 million tonnes of coal. The block was originally offered jointly to West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, UP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and SJVNL (formerly Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd).

None, however, showed any interest in developing the block in the last three years or so, prompting Mamata to seek sole operatorship. The Centre responded to Mamata’s demand by setting up an inter-ministerial committee to examine her proposal. Bengal will get the largest share of 584 million tonnes of coal from this block, followed by Bihar which has a share of 486 million tonnes.

The block has four seams of coal ranging from 9 metres to 80 metres in thickness at depths ranging from 135 metres to 835 metres. The ash content of coal is estimated at 15-20%, which covers Grades A, B C, D and G. The block can be accessed through the Panagarh-Mourigram road and the nearest railway station is Mallarpur.