Bharat Coking Coal Limited

From Global Energy Monitor

Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) is a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), an undertaking of the Government of India. [1]

Opencast mining

According to Isabell Zipfel of Fire on Earth: Shortly after 1971, the coal mines of India were nationalized, and one of its operators became BCCL, which conducts mainly open cast mining. Mostly of that mining, Zifel says, is illegall:

"since in 97% of the cases no license has been granted. Opencast mining is more profitable than deep mining. The productivity and extracted quantities are significantly higher than in deep mining and cost less. In Jharia, coal is mined in the villages, next to the houses, in short, on people’s doorsteps. Even on the streets, on railway lines, in the station itself, which is not a station any more, coal is mined. Really, the mined area should be filled with sand and water afterwards, so it can be cultivated again. For cost reasons, however, this never happens, which leads to the coal seams coming into contact with oxygen and catching fire. India has the most coal blazes worldwide. BCCL representatives estimate there are 67 fires in Jharia alone."[2]


November 2022: Four killed by police for alleged coal theft in Dhanbad

Four people died and six more were injured in a police shooting on November 20, 2022. The dispute began at the Block-2 Coal Siding of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd when around two dozen men reportedly showed up on two wheelers, suspected to be coal thieves. Protests began shortly after the killings. Family members of the deceased assert their innocence.[3]

The Central Industrial Security Force described those killed as “anti-social elements.” Locals assert that the police themselves stole the coal.[4]

Articles and Resources


  1. "About Us", Coal India website, accessed February 2012.
  2. Isabell Zipfel, "The coalfields of Jharia," Fire on Earth, Feb. 24, 2012.
  3. "Jharkhand: Magisterial probe ordered into death of four 'coal thieves' in Dhanbad". Hindustan Times. 2022-11-21. Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  4. "4 killed in clash with security forces in Dhanbad". Retrieved 2022-11-22.

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