Pachhwara (Central) coal mine

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The Pachhwara Central coal mine is a proposed 7 million ton-per-annum (MTPA) opencast mine in Pakur, Jharkhanda, India, operated by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited.[1]


The map below shows the approximate location of the mines in Pakur district, Jharkhand state.[2]

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The Pachawara Central project is a coal mining operation in Pakur District in Jharkhand, Eastern India. The project began in 2002 by Panem Coal, a joint venture of Punjab State Power Corporation and Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency (EMTA) to produce, supply, transport and deliver coal from the coalmines of Pachwara Central Block exclusively to PSEB thermal power stations.[3]

According to an inquiry report into the project, it is estimated that Pachwara Central Block contains 562 million ton of coal reserves. Out of this reserve, it is proposed that in an area of approximately 13 square kilometers, open pit mining will be done in 11 square kilometers. The Central Block envisages 44 years of open cast mining to extract 289 million tons of coal. The Jharkhand Government is expected to get annual royalty at the rate of Rs. 100 crores. It is also estimated by official figures that 250 families will be displaced and "afterwards possibly more.”[3][4]

The plant would supply coal to three of Punjab State Power's coal plants: Ropar thermal plant, GNDTP Bathinda power station, and Guru Hargobind (Lehra Mohabbat) Power Station.[5] Panem Coal has had trouble meeting its production goals, causing problems at the power plants that the mine supplies.[6] In March 2015, a state auditor alleged corruption in the reallocation of the mining contract to Panem Coal.[7]

Opposition leader to project killed

The Pachwara coal mining project was quickly met with resistance by locals. The Santhal community were pushed off their land for the project. Indian nun Sister Valsa John helped organize the Santhal to demand compensation for their land, and Panem Coal Ltd. was eventually forced into a compensation agreement. In early November 2011, a mob of 25 or 30 men carrying spears, clubs and axes burst into the house of Sister Valsa and beat and hacked her to death; it is speculated that it is because of the work she did helping local people resist coal projects and demand compensation. The Associated Press has reported that coal extraction in mineral-rich Jharkhand is largely controlled by a powerful mafia that operates illegal mines, with the coal then sold on the black market.[8][9][10]

Mine Details

  • Sponsor: Panem Coal
  • Parent company: Punjab State Power Corporation[1] and Eastern Minerals and Trading Agency (EMTA)
  • Location: Pakur district, Jharkhand state, India
  • Coordinates: 24.517333, 87.570734 (approximate)
  • Status: Proposed, Mothballed, likely Cancelled[11]
  • Capacity: 7 MTPA[1]
  • Reserves: 562 MT
  • In service:
  • Permits:
  • Coal type:
  • Mining method: Surface
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Transfer of Environmental Clearance of Pacchwara (Central) Captive Opencast Coal Mining project, July 6, 2015
  2. Panem Coal Mines Limited, Amrapara, Pakur, Wikimapia, accessed May 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Pachwara coal mining project" Enquiry report - PUCL Dumka, Jharkhand Unit, Sep. 2003.
  4. Panem Coal Mines, India, Environmental Justice Atlas, accessed May 2015.
  5. Coal supply restored to PSPCL's power plants: Panem Coal Mines, Economic Times, 15 May 2014.
  6. Punjab Power resolves supply issue with Panem coal mines, Business Standard, 4 Jun 2014.
  7. Gurpreet Singh Nibber, CAG smells scam in PSPCL’s Jharkhand coal block via extra payment, Hindustan Times, 21 Mar. 2015.
  8. Javed Iqbal, Valsa murder tells the story of Pachwara, Sunday Guardian, 15 Jan. 2012.
  9. Judy Molland, "Indian Nun Hacked To Death For Defying Big Coal" Care 2 Care, Nov. 18, 2011.
  10. Pakur District Government, Chapter 7: Development Induced Displacement in the District, District Human Development Report of Pakur.
  11. Vishal Rambani, Delay in making Jharkhand coal mine operational costing power corp 300 cr annually, Hindustan Times, January 4, 2020

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