The Steel Ministry has asked state-run consulting firm Mecon to conduct a study on reviving the Jharia underground coal mines in Jharkhand. Some of these mines still have underground fires raging but the shortage of coal has sparked interest in the neighbouring ones.
Steel secretary G Mohan Kumar has asked Mecon to suggest ways to set up the evacuation infrastructure and submit its report within three months. He said this at a meeting of state-run and private steel companies. The Jharia mines have an estimated reserves of 11 billion tonnes of coking coal of which 80 per cent is coking coal.