Jharia

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Jharia
(ashfaque city)
city
Jharia is located in Jharkhand
Jharia
Jharia
Location in Jharkhand, India
Coordinates: 23°45′06″N 86°25′13″E / 23.751568°N 86.420345°E / 23.751568; 86.420345Coordinates: 23°45′06″N 86°25′13″E / 23.751568°N 86.420345°E / 23.751568; 86.420345
Country  India
State Jharkhand
District Dhanbad
Elevation 77 m (253 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 81,979
Languages
 • Official HindiSantali
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
[1]

Jharia is a notified area and one of eight development blocks[2] in Dhanbad district in Jharkhand state, India. Jharia is the fifteenth largest town in the state of Jharkhand.[3] (More than one town in India shares this name.) Jharia is famous for its rich coal resources, used to make coke. Jharia plays a very important role in the economy & development of Dhanbad City, and can be considered as a part of Dhanbad City.

Pictures of the coal town of Jharia

Demographics[edit]

As of 2001 India census,[4] Jharia had a population of 81,979. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Jharia has an average literacy rate of 68%, lower than the national average of 74.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 60%. In Jharia, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Relocation[edit]

According to the state government, the town of Jharia is to be shifted due to the uncontrollable coal mine fires (see below), which have found to be undousable, leading to loss of property and lives. Coal worth Rs. 60,000 crore (US$12 billion) is lying unmined, and the state government feels the shifting will help in exploiting this resource.[5]

Coal field[edit]

The coal field lies in the Damodar River Valley, and covers about 110 square miles (280 square km), and produces bituminous coal suitable for coke. Most of India's coal comes from Jharia. Jharia coal mines are India's most important storehouse[6] of prime coke coal used in blast furnaces, it consists of 23 large underground and nine large open cast mines.[5]

The mining activities in these coalfields started in 1894 and had really intensified in 1925.The first Indians to arrive and break monopoly of British in Coal mining were Gujarati railway contractors from Kutch[7] some of whom decided to plunge into the coal mining business and were thus the pioneers in starting coal mining in Jharia coalfields belt around 1890-95.[8] In Jharia-Dhanbad belt Seth Khora Ramji Chawda was the first Indian to break monopoly of Europeans and founded Khas Jharia, Golden Jharia, Fatehpur, Balihari,Khas Jeenagora, East Bagatdih Collieries with their brothers Teja Ramji Chawda, Jetha Lira Jethwa, Akhoy Ramji Chawda, Pachan Ramji Chowra between 1894 and 1910. In Pure Jharia Colliery Khora Ramji and brothers were partners with Diwan Bahadur D.D. Thacker.[9] [10] [11] [12][13] The Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa (1920) by British Gazetteer mentions about Seth Khora Ramji as under :-

..at that time (in 1890s) the Jharia coal fields were being exploited by Europeans and Seth Khora Ramji was first Indian to seize the opportunity. He purchased two collieries to begin with. Gradually others from Kutch and Gujarat followed suite and now Jharia has been changed into a Gujarati settlement with about 50 Kutchi out of 92 Gujarati collieries proprietors with Seth Khora Ramji as head of them all. He is now sole proprietor of two collieries and a financing member of about eight collieries.Several District official have remarked him as Multi-millionare, one of the first class parties in Jharia.

The life sketch of Govamal Jivan Chauhan is also another miner mentioned by the British in gazetter[14] who founded collieries at Teesra, Budroochuck and Pandeberra around 1908-10, Jagmal Raja Chauhan owned Rajapore colliery with Manji Jeram of Madhapar,[9] while Khimji Walji owned Tisra mines[9] and Khimjee & Gangjee Dossa owned mines at Kujama, Fettehpur, North Kujama, North Akashkinari, Katrasgaarh, Central Jharia, Indian Jharia and Lower Upper Jharia, Khengar Trikoo of Anjar at Khas Joyrampur[9] There were more than 50 mines owner from Mistri community of Kutch, who took on lease the coal mining fields from Raja of Jharia at various locations to start collieries at Khas Jharia, Jamadoba, Balihari, Tisra, Katrasgarh, Kailudih, Kusunda, Govindpur, Sijua, Sijhua, Loyabad, Joyrampur, Bhaga, Matadih, Mohuda, Dhansar, Bhuli, Bermo, Mugma, Chasnala-Bokaro, Bugatdih, Putki, Pandibri, Rajapur, Jeenagora, Gareria, Chirkunda, Bhowrah, Sinidih, Kendwadih, Dumka, etc.[9] The others of pre - first world war years were Khannas, Agarwallas, Kesabji Pitamber, Haithibhai Patel, Chaturbhai Sangjibhai, Kalyanji Mavji, Roys, Banerjees and Singhs.[9][15] [16][17]

After first world war was over other communities from Kutch, Gujarat, Marwar and Bengal followed notable among them were Amritlal Morarjee, Kriparshankar Worah, Jatashankar Dosa Chanchani, Amritalal Ojha, Lala Karamchand Thapar, Kalyanji Mavji, T.K. Khanna, Ramjush Agarwalla, J.K. Agarwalla, Kesabji Pitamber, Haithibhai Patel, Chaturbhai Sangjibhai who made their name in Jharia coalfield post World-War-I.[9] Amritlal Ojha & Karamchand Thapar later went on to become President of International Chamber of Commerce.[9] After second world war and independence of India, Jharia coal mines owner prospered beyond imagination but in 1971 the coal mines were nationalized by Indira Gandhi by an act of parliament. A major chunk of these coal bearing region including Raniganj and Paraskole was with the Jharia miners like Chanchani & Worah, Poddars, Agarwallas, Mistris of Kutch, etc.[9]

Rai Bahadur D D Thacker started a Labour's School in Jharia to train labors for coalmines. While the Gujrati Primary School at Jharia for children was started by Mestri Colliery owners, who felt the need of a Primary School at Jharia.[18] Although, after nationalization of the coal mines in 1971-73 all of them lost their mines and assets and a downturn in fortune of coal mining community came.[9] But history is witness to the fact that the credit of being the first Indian to start coal mining in Jharia goes to Seth Khora Ramji from Mistri community of Kutch, who broke monopoly of British and European companies in coal mining field, a fact noted by British themselves in Life-sketch of Khora Ramji Chawda in Encyclopedia of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa.[9]

After the mines were nationalized in 1971, due to easy availability of coal, many steel plants are set up in close proximity to Jharia. Many steel companies such as Tata Steel, IISCO, SAIL have taken coal field on lease in Jharia.

Coal field fire[edit]

Jharia is famous for a coal field fire that has burned underground for nearly a century. The first fire was detected in 1916.[5] As per records it was the Khas Jharia mines of Seth Khora Ramji Chawda (1860–1923), who was a pioneer of Indian coalmines, whose mines were one of the firsts to capsize in underground fire in 1930. Two of his collieries, Khas Jharia & Golden Jharia, which worked on maximum 260 feet deep shafts[19] capsized due to now infamous underground fires, in which their house & bungalow also capsized on 8 November 1930 causing 18 feet subsidence and wide spread destruction.[10][12][19][20][21][22] The fire never stopped despite sincere efforts by Mines department and Railway authorities and in 1933 flaming crevasses lead to exodus of many residents.[19] The Bihar 1934 earthquake lead to further spread of fire and by 1938 the authorities had declared that there is raging fire beneath the town with 42 collieries out of 133 on fire.[23]

In 1972, more than 70 mine fires were reported in this region. As of 2007 more than 400,000 people who reside in Jharia are living on land in danger of subsidence due to the fires, and according to Satya Pratap Singh, "Jharia township is on the brink of an ecological and human disaster.".[24] The government has been criticized for a perceived lackadaisical attitude[25] towards the safety of the people of Jharia.[26] Heavy fumes emitted by the fires[27] lead to severe health problems such as breathing disorders and skin diseases among the local population.[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IN/38/Jharia2.html
  2. ^ Development Blocks in Dhanbad district
  3. ^ "Jharkhand cities and town, world-gazetteer.com". Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. 
  4. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01. 
  5. ^ a b c Jharia to be shifted, The Times of India, 31 Aug 2006
  6. ^ The Jharia coal field fire
  7. ^ Town survey report: Bihar, Dhanbad by Rajendra Prasad Assistant Director of Census Operations, Bihar S. C. Saxena Deputy Director of Census Operations, Bihar. 1988 :pp 22:It was the existence of coal that first attracted the railway authority to extend the railways and with them came the Gujrati people as an expert railway contractor with an experience of railway constrction work at Thana. They then met Raja of Jharia and purchased some having underneath wast wealth in shape of coal...
  8. ^ Census of India, 1981: Bihar. Series 4. Controller of Publications - Bihar. 1981. p. 22. "It was the existence of coal that first attracted the railway authority to extend the railways and with them came the Gujrati people as an expert railway contractor with an experience of railway constrction work at Thana. They then met Raja of Jharia and purchased some having underneath wast wealth in shape of coal" 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Diary of Golden Days at Jharia - A Memoir & History of Gurjar Kashtriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia - written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa of Calcutta/Sinugra complied by Raja Pawan Jethwa : 1998
  10. ^ a b Gazetteers of Bengal, Assam, Bihar & Orissa 1917 Khora Ramji Colliries
  11. ^ Ambalal Khora Ramji Legal 1
  12. ^ a b Khora Ramji Mines capsized in 1938
  13. ^ Encyclopedia of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa by British Authorities - 1920 : People from the region : Life sketch of Seth Khora Ramji Chawra noted in 1920
  14. ^ The Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa (1925) by British Gazetteer
  15. ^ Coking Coal Nationalisation Act of 1972 - Naming many collieries of Khora Ramji, Gangji Dossa, Khimjee Dossa, Debram Ramji, Diamond Coal, Dhanji Devji, Chowra Construction owner of North Kujama, Chanchani & Worah etc
  16. ^ Coal Mines Nationalization Act, 1973 Naming many collieries of Kutch Gurjar Kshatriyas : Khimjee Dossa, Chauhan Brothers, Devji Gelabhai, etc
  17. ^ Encyclopaedia of Bengal, Bihar & Orissa : People from the Region: Life Sketch of Gowamal Jiwan Chauhan noted in year 1924-25 by British Gazzeter when he was alive
  18. ^ [1] Town survey report: Bihar, Dhanbad 1988:pp 37
  19. ^ a b c Peripheral Labour: Studies in the History of Partial Proletarianization edited by Shahid Amin, Marcel van der Linden. 1997. p. 83. 
  20. ^ Diary of Golden Days at Jharia - A Memoir & History of Gurjar Kashtriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia - written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa:1998 Page:12
  21. ^ Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published in Gujarati in year 1999 from Vadodara.It is a diary of Railway Contracts done by KGK community noted by Nanji Govindji Tank of Jamshedpur, complied by Dharsibhai Jethalal Tank, Tatanagar. (Aank Sidhhi awarded to book by Kutch Shakti at Mumbai in 2000): Life Sketch of Seth Khora Ramji Chawra Page :76
  22. ^ [2] The Jharia underground fire still raging first came to notice in November, 1930 with subsidance at Seth Khora Ramji's Khas Jharia Colliery(Page 159). He was told that Seth Khora Ramji, whose mines lay underneath Jharia, had chosen to live in his house, which also collapsed in subsidance(Page 160). The politics of labour under late colonialism:workers, unions, and the state in Chota Nagpur, 1928-1939 by Dilip Simeon.
  23. ^ Searchlight, 24 January 1936.
  24. ^ Hindustan Times, December 15, 2007
  25. ^ The Jharia mine fire control technical assistance project: an analysis, April 2004
  26. ^ "Inside Coal Mine Fires", a documentary, 2005
  27. ^ ESTIMATION OF GAS EMISSIONS FROM SHALLOW SUBSURFACE COAL FIRES IN JHARIA COALFIELD
  28. ^ In the line of fire, indiatogether.org

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]