There are only four large-scale factories in the district that employ more than 50 workers and use power. These industries are, the Ballarpur paper and Straw Board Mills, Ltd., Ballarpur; the Swastik Glass Works, Chandrapur; the Dadabhoy Potteries. Ballarpur and the Bashir Oil Mills, Warora.

Ballarpur Paper and straw Board mills Ltd.

The Ballarpur Paper and Straw Board Mills Ltd., is located at Ballarpur in Chanda tahsil. It has a production capacity of 35 tons Per day. It has plans for expansion up to 120 tons per day in stages. This factory consumes as raw material bamboos worth Rs. 30,000 annually. These bamboos are locally available and at times are imported from the nearby Bhandara district. An amount of Rs. 208.58 lakhs as on 30th June 1965 is invested in the industry of which Rs. 161.32 lakhs have been contributed by the shareholders and Rs. 47.26 lakhs reinvested from the profits retained in the business.

The production of pager was about five thousand tons in 1953-54. It had risen to about 30 thousand tons by 1964-65, i.e., by about 600 per cent within the span of 11 years. During 1957-58 the sales were to the extent of 200 lakhs of rupees with gross profits of about Rs. 60 lakhs. During 1964-65 the sales went up to the tune of Rs. 570 lakhs and gross profits to about Rs. 90 lakhs. Gross profit represented profit after providing for all expenses including interest but before providing for depreciation and development rebate. The increase in production in 1964-65 was attributed to the satisfactory running that year of the M.G. and M.F. machines, the commissioning and smooth running of which was delayed by the non-availability and frequent interruption of power supply. It was also due to the satisfactory working of the pulp mill. Exercise books worth over Rs. 25 lakhs were exported to Burma in face of stiff competition from Japan and other countries during 1964-65. The exports were made at the international prices which were substantially below those prevailing in the country, as exports were imperative because of the acute balance of payments position of the country.

The Swastik Glass Works was established at Chandrapur in the year 1948. it undertakes the manufacture of glass and glassware, such as, chimneys, jars, bottles, etc. It is a perennial factory working for about 300 days in a year. Blowing, annealing, cutting, melting, grinding and packing are some of the stages in the process of production.

In 1964-65, the industry had the fixed capital of Rs. 2,19,384 composed of land and buildings, Rs. 1,37,765; plant and machinery, Rs. 72,882 and furniture, fixtures, fittings, vehicles, patents, trademarks, etc., Rs. 8,737.

The factory provides employment to about 120 skilled and 310 unskilled labourers. The aggregate wage bill of workers including bonus was Rs. 2,86,383.53 in 1964-65.

During 1964-65, the factory spent Rs. 1,51,606.24 on fuel and power.The expenditure on essential raw materials during the same period was Rs. 1,91,960 composed of soda by carb, Rs. 1,36.800: sand. Rs. 42,000; lime, Rs. 2,160; felspar, Rs. 3,000 and borax, Rs. 8,000.

The productive capacity of the factory was put at goods worth about Rs. 15 to 16 lakhs. Their products are sold throughout India and are also exported to Ceylon.

The factory received Government help in the form of a grant of foreign exchange to the tune of Rs. 3,000.

The main difficulties encountered by the factory are the non-availability of railway wagons for carrying goods coupled with the shortage of skilled labour.

Dadabhoy Potteries.

The Dadabhoy Potteries was purchased by Messrs. Vasant Industries, Ballarpur. The factory manufactures pottery and earthenware, such as, Mangalore tiles, ridges, pipes and other fittings. It is a perennial factory working for about 300 days in a year.

During 1964-65, the company had fixed capital of Rs. 3,23,912 composed of land and buildings, Rs. 1,74,850; plant and machinery, Rs. 1.07,000 and furniture, fixtures, etc., Rs. 42,062. The company had working capital of Rs. 90,291.46.

The factory provided employment to 120 workers on an average including 25 skilled workers. Besides these workers, there were about 50 persons engaged in office and other duties. They were paid wages at rates varying between Rs. 1.90 and Rs. 3.25 per day.

The essential raw materials consumed by the factory during The same period were clay, kerosene oil and grease oil worth Rs. 17,984.97, Rs. 3,672 and Rs. 3,396, respectively. During that period the factory produced tiles, pipes and fittings worth Rs. 2,24,090.57. The products were marketed mainly in the State.

The main difficulties, which the factory faced, were shortage of railway wagons and of other transport facilities.

Bashir Oil Mills.

The Bashir Oil Mills, one of the modern oil mills in the district located at Warora was established in the year 1945. It is a seasonal industry that works for about 220 days in a year from November to June.

During 1964-65, the fixed capital of the factory stood at Rs. 15,00,000 composed of land and buildings, Rs. 6,00,000 and plants and machinery, Rs. 9,00,000. During the same year it had working capital of Rs. 90 lakhs. It provided employment to 42 persons of whom 10 were skilled and 32 unskilled. The average yearly wage bill of the factory came to Rs. 2,58,000.

In the same year the factory spent Rs. 1,01,000 on fuel of which an amount of Rs. 85,000 was spent on electricity and Rs. 16,000 on steam coal.

The expenditure of the factory on essential raw materials during the same year was Rs. 64,17,219 comprising sesamum, Rs. 21,85,995; linseed, Rs. 2,33,705; cottonseed, Rs. 39,59,369 and groundnut, Rs. 38,150. The raw material was mostly obtained from Chandrapur, Warora, Wani, Pandharkawda, Yeotmal and Adilabad.

During the year under consideration the factory produced linseed oil and cake worth Rs. 73,284; sesamum oil and cake, Rs. 27,09,003; cottonseed oil and cake, Rs. 41,48,344 and ground-nut oil, Rs. 28,056. The total value of all the products was Rs. 69,58,687. Groundnut oil, linseed oil and sesamum oil were mostly sold in the local market, while cottonseed oil and sesamum oil were exported to Chandrapur, Nagpur, Calcutta, Delhi, etc. The shortage of raw materials is the major difficulty faced by the factory.

Other Industries-

Besides the major industrial units described so far, there are many categories of medium industries scattered over the district. These have been described below after grouping them together.

Oil Mills

Oilseed pressing is an age-old occupation. Formerly every

village used to have an oil-man and a ghani for crushing oilseeds when the village was considered a self-sufficient unit. With the growing complex nature of economic development and keen competition from the oil mills, the business of the village artisans working on ghanis has dwindled considerably and only a few now remain to carry on their more or less hereditary occupation.

All the reporting oil mills were established between 1947 and 1960 and were mostly perennial in character. They were engaged in crushing linseed, sesamum, cotton seed, etc.

The aggregate fixed capital of five reporting units was about two lakh rupees and was mainly composed of land and buildings plants and machinery, and furniture and fixtures. The working capital required by three units was about Rs. 14,00,000. Each of the units on an average provided employment to about seven persons and their total wage bill inclusive of the bonus varied between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 30,000 per year.

On an average every unit spent Rs. 900 on electricity and coal. They purchased about 4 to 5 thousand bags of seed valued at Rs. 110 per bag in a year.

In many cases the products were marketed in local markets while in some cases the products were exported to Bombay and other surrounding areas.

Saw Mills.

There were as many as eight saw mills reporting for the district having abundant forest areas. All these units were established between 1952 and 1961. Of these, five were perennial and three closed for the rainy season. The average fixed capital invested in land and buildings, plants and machinery and furniture and fixtures per unit was Rs. 40,000. The plants and machinery mainly consisted of bend saw machines and shaping machines. The average working capital of every factory was Rs. 25,000.

These saw mills provided employment to 70 persons in the aggregate including 24 skilled workers and 10 employees other than workers giving an average of 10 employees per unit. Annually an average amount of Rs. 40,000 was spent towards wages.

Their average annual expenditure on power and fuel was placed at about Rs. 2,000. Electric energy was mainly consumed for the purpose. The main raw materials consisted of sag, bija and other local varieties of wood and the average expenditure of a saw mill on raw materials was Rs. 7,800 per year.

Though the product had a local demand, it was also exported to Bombay, Poona, Nagpur, Calcutta, Madras, Gujarat, etc.

Only two units reported Government assistance in the form of subsidy on electric bill. The main difficulties faced by the mills were shortage of capital and non-availability of skilled labour. Shortage of banking and warehousing facilities was also reported.

Rice Mills.

This district with a large rice growing area has naturally many paddy processing industrial units. In 1961 as also in 1963 there were 12 such units in the district, and the employment in these factories was 3.67 per cent of the total employment in factories in the district. A survey of all the twelve factories in the district was conducted during 1965-66. The following account of the industry is based upon the findings of the survey.

Of these, six units were established in 1932, 1934, 1945, 1954, 1956 and 1959, respectively and of the remaining, three were established in 1952 and three in 1958. Three of these units only worked during the season while the remaining nine worked throughout the year. However, even those units that worked throughout the year had a considerable slackening of their business for about three to four months in a year. Almost all these units were engaged in the processing of paddy into rice.

The average investment in fixed capital of a unit came to Rs. 78,000 of which an amount of Rs. 32,000 was invested in land and buildings, Rs. 38,000 in plant and machinery and Rs. 8,000 in furniture and fixtures. The machinery mostly consisted of automatic rice milling plant, hullar for polishing and electric motors. A few of them had oil engines too.

These units provided employment to about 80 workers and 30 employees other than workers. Each unit had generally one skilled worker. The average daily earning of a skilled worker amounted to Rs. 5 and that of an unskilled worker to Rs. 3.

All the units mostly worked on electricity. Besides electric power, they also used mobil oil and crude oil. The average annual expenditure on fuel and power per unit came to Rs. 7,800.

On an average, a unit processed paddy worth about Rs. 10,000 annually.

With the introduction of monopoly procurement programme for paddy and of curbs on dehusking of rice, the rice mills are required to obtain licences from the proper authority and have to report from time to time that authority in regard to their turnover, etc. The main difficulties of the industry were in regard to the supply of electricity and shortage of mobil oil.

Cotton Ginning.

The area under cultivation of cotton in the district was 26,806 hectares (66,245 acres) in 1962-63 and 26,984 hectares (66,681 acres) in 1961-62 as compared to 25,212 hectares (62,301 acres) in 1960-61. With so much area under cultivation of cotton, the district has a few cotton ginning units.

The number of cotton ginning factories which was only one in 1961, rose to three in 1962 and again decreased to two in 1963. The variation was also noticed in the number of persons employed daily in the factories. The number of average daily workers employed in 1962 was 75. It decreased to 54 in 1963. By the end of 1963-64, the employment in these factories was 1.85 per cent of the total employment in the district.

The following account of the cotton ginning factories is based upon the survey of four such factories conducted in 1965-66. Of these, one was established as early as 1915, one in 1946, one in 1947 and one in 1964. All these were seasonal factories mainly undertaking ginning of cotton. They normally worked for about 150 days in a year from November to April.

The average fixed capital investment per unit was about Rs. 98,000 composed of land and building, Rs. 61,000; plant and machinery, Rs. 36,000 and furniture and fixtures, Rs. 1,000. These factories provided employment to 124 workers including skilled ones and 36 other employees and paid them Rs. 56,600 by way of wages including Rs. 44,000 paid to workers towards wages and bonus. Thus, the average employment provided by a unit came to 31 workers and 9 other staff and the unit paid wages of about Rs. 14,000 including Rs. 11,000 paid to workers.

Their average annual expenditure on fuel was Rs. 6,900. Most of them worked on electricity. They also consumed coal besides mobil oil and crude oil. A unit on an average ginned raw cotton worth about Rs. two lakhs a year and it was mostly obtained from Warora and other villages in the district. The cotton bales were mostly exported to Bombay and Nagpur.

Tile Manufacturing.

There were two tile manufacturing units in the district located at Ballarshah and Chandrapur established in 1951 and 1955, respectively. Both were seasonal, working from October to June. The average fixed capital invested by a unit was Rs. 48,000 of which Rs. 25,000 were invested in land and building and Rs. 13,000 in plant and machinery. The average working capital required by a unit was about Rs. 15,000.

Both the units provided employment to 40 workers each and paid them about Rs. 24,000 by way of wages and bonus. A unit spent about Rs. 10,000 per year on fuel comprising mostly coal and oil.

The basic raw material required for the industry was clay and the average expenditure was about Rs. 8,000 a year on the same. The products consisting of tiles and pipes were mostly marketed in the district.

The main difficulties encountered by the industry were shortage of clay and non-availability of skilled labour.

Bidi Manufacture,

Tendu leaves that serve as a basic raw material for the bidi industry are found in abundance in the thick forests of the district. The number of bidi factories which was constant at 3 during 1961 and 1962 rose to 4 in 1963. During 1962. these factories provided employment to 384 workers daily on an average which decreased to 288 in 1963. These factories provided employment to 9.89 per cent of the total factory employees of the district in 1963.

Soap Industry.

The small survey of a unit manufacturing soap revealed the following. The factory established in 1925 worked for about 290 days in a year. The unit had invested a fixed capital of Rs. 9,000 in plant and machinery. It provided employment to eight persons, seven of them being workers and paid them Rs. 6,600 as wages annually.

The main raw materials required for the industry are non-edible oils, caustic soda, scent, etc. The unit consumed raw materials worth Rs. 1,03,600 during 1965-66. The main difficulties faced by the industry were lack of transport facility and credit facility from banks.

Poha Mills.

With rice as a staple food of the district there were many rice mills and poha mills in the district. A small survey of a unit was conducted in 1965-66. The mill engaged in the manufacture of poha was established in 1959 and it worked for about 320 days in a year. The fixed capital invested was Rs. 52,000 of which Rs. 30,000 were invested in land and buildings, Rs. 15,000 in poha plant and Rs. 7,000 in furniture or fixtures.

It provided employment to 19 persons including 15 workers and paid them about Rs. 16.800 by way of wages. The fuel required was composed of mobil oil, crude oil and coal and an amount of about Rs. 10,000 was spent on the same. The product was mainly marketed in the district.

Mining Industry.

The district abounds in mineral wealth and it is the richest of the minerally important districts in the State, with large reserves of high grade iron ore and coal. The coal bearing areas of the district are considered to be next in importance to Jharia, Raniganj and Madbya Pradesh coal fields. The deposits of iron ore, manganese, mica, ochres, clay, etc., are reported to have been found in the hilly and forest areas of the tahsils of Sironcha. Brahmapuri and Gadhchiroli. The copper ore had recently been discovered at Thanewasha in Chandrapur tahsil. Besides, fine clay, pottery clay and china clay are also available in the district.

Mining and quarrying is an old industry in the district and the Gazetteer of Chanda district published in the year 1909 gives the following information about the same.

"Coal. The Mayo Colliery.- The remarkable mineral wealth of the district has so far been exploited on a commercial scale in only one direction, namely, the development of its coal deposits. The west side of the district as far south as the Third Barrier of the Godavari lies within the Wardha Valley Coalfield, an area, the natural geological limits of which indicate a total extent of 1,600 square miles, and which towards the north runs up to within 16 miles of the important cotton mart of Hinganghat. The first traces of coal in this district [The valueless coal discovered in 1848 at Kotal may be left out of consideration.] were discovered in October 1865 when some pieces of carbonaceous shale were picked up in the bed of the Wardha river; these were followed up, and were  found to have been washed from the Chanda bank of the river to the west of Ghugus, a village lying due west of Chanda. A pit was thereupon sunk in that village, and coal was struck at a depth of 30 feet. The. search for further deposits was vigorously prosecuted and outcrops were discovered at Ballalpur and Lathi. In 1869. Mr. Fryar, a Mining Engineer, was deputed by Government to make a systematic enquiry into the value and extent of the coalfield. Proper boring instruments were provided, and it was proved that the Ghugus seam was thicker and more constant than had at first been supposed. A working pit sunk within 300 yards of the river struck an upper seam 4 feet thick at 80 feet below the surface and a lower seam 33 feet thick at 95 feet down. Although the coal was of variable quality a thickness of at least 20 feet was composed of good coal. By 1870 the Ghugus pit had been brought into thorough working order with regular galleries, two cages, and a gin worked by hand power which raised 10 or 15 tons of coal a day. It was considered of sufficient importance of merit the patronage of a Viceroy, and in 1870 it was formally declared open by Lord Mayo, thenceforward assuming the name of the Mayo Colliery. It remained in steady working till the following year, about 70 tons being raised each month; the coal was partly consumed by the steam borer, while the rest was taken by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. The composition of the coal was somewhat uneven, but as a whole it was good enough for steam service in dry weather; in rainy weather, however, it was found to be incapable of standing exposure, and this defect made it necessary to search for a more suitable material. An average sample of Ghugus coal gave the following analysis: -


45.61 percent.

Volatile Matter

33.49 percent.

(Including water).



20.90 percent.

"Warora Colliery.- Many indications pointed to the probable existence of coal to the north roundabout Warora within easy reach of the Hinganghat cotton market, and search was naturally directed towards that locality when the desirability of abandoning the Mayo Colliery had become obvious. The first coal was proved in 1870 by a boring 102 feet in depth about half a mile east of Warora. Other borings were made to ascertain the dip of the strata, and. to sum up the result of these investigations, the existence was proved of a slightly broken coalfield extending from Ghugus to Warora, distance of 22 miles, the quality of the coal being found to improve in the vicinity of Warora; it was also deemed probable that the coal extended well to the east of Warora. These preliminary operations were in the hands of

Mr. Fryar. The year 1871 witnessed the actual commencement of work at the Warora Colliery. Many difficulties had to be overcome, the chief of which was the extraordinary influx of water, with which the pumps at first provided were not adequate to cope. The railway was as yet not in existence, and frequent changes of management still further militated against good progress. In 1873, however, on the appointment of Mr. Ness, an Engineer of considerable experience in England, the sinking of the pits was successfully completed. In all, seven pits were sunk, with a depth varying from 140 to 240 feet. An unlooked for addition to the mineral wealth of the area was given by the discovery of a second seam of superior coal below the first. Both the upper and the lower seam were worked; the former was known as No. 2 and was from 12 to 15 feet in thickness, the latter, or No. 3 seam, was between 10 and 11 feet thick, and the two seams were divided by a band of shale about 6 feet thick. Trials made by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway in 1874 gave satisfactory results, and it was found that the consumption per ton mile only exceeded that of English coal by 13 per cent. Two systems of working were at first in vogue: the 'bord and pillar' and the 'long wall' system, but the friability of the coal proved unsuitable to the latter method and it was abandoned in 1877. Under the 'bord and pillar' system which thenceforth obtained along the seams are cut into pillars by means of galleries and subsequently the pillars are themselves extracted. From the beginning, the presence of iron pyrites in the coal rendered it susceptible to spontaneous combustion and led to frequent under-ground fires which were a source of constant anxiety and danger, to say nothing of the expense attendant on the work of keeping them under control and providing for the safety of the workers; towards the end there were underground fires in all the pits, which were combated by surrounding them with brick walls. It was realised that the mine would have to close down about the end of 1906: the end, however, came sooner than had been expected. On the 28th March 1906, a large subsidence took place fortunately unattended by loss of life, and an influx of water followed which the machinery of the mine was unable to pump out. A considerable area of coal was lost, and, as the remainder was not sufficient to allow of the colliery being worked at a profit, it was finally closed down on the 30th April 1906. The causes which led to the subsidence are fully set forth by Mr. Pickering, the Chief Inspector of Mines, in his report for the year 1906. The radical and fatal mistake lay in the working of both seams simultaneously, instead of working the top seam first and allowing the strata to subside before touching the bottom seam. The loss of coal due to this defective system of working was enormous. According to Mr. Pickering, a reasonable estimate of the coal in the area worked would be 12,000,000 tons. Of this 3,086,220 tons or only 25 per cent, had been raised. If the mine had been properly laid out and worked from the beginning, perhaps, 75 per cent would have been recovered. The additional six million tons would have prolonged the life of the colliery by about forty years [It is but justice to add that the evil was done in the early years of the colliery, and that the management of the later years of the mine was entirely exculpated.].

As mentioned above over three million tons of coal were raised from the mine during its existence, the largest output in any one year being 1,53,336 tons in 1902. About half the coal raised was sold to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, and the remainder to various mills, gins and presses between Nagpur and Bhusawal; the demand from these latter had towards the end completely outgrown the supply. 1 he selling rate at the pit's mouth was Rs.5per ton. Until 1882 the colliery was worked at a loss, but thenceforward with a temporary and only partial check from 1892 to 1895 it paid very well indeed. The capital outlay in 1894 stood at 20.65 lakhs: by 1906 this had been written down to 12.84 lakhs by means of a sinking fund. The net profits during the whole life of the mine amounted to 30.86 lakhs, and the highest rate of interest paid in any year was just over 17 per cent in 1902. During the busy season about 1,200 people in all were employed, rather more than half of these being underground workers. Most of the coal-cutters came from the United Province; they were all paid by piece-work, and earned on an average from 6 to 12 annas a day: unskilled labourers were paid 4 or 5 annas a day. Fire-clay was also worked; it was found on top of the coal. Fire-bricks, floor and roofing tiles were made in large quantities and were a source of considerable profit. The following is a fairly accurate analysis of the coal:―

Fixed carbon

45.4 percent.

volatile matter

26.5 percent.


13.9 percent.


14.2 percent.

The underground working extended from the Nagpur-Chandrapur road between miles 67 and 68 to the town of Warora where the coal) thins out and disappears. The boundary on the north was a fault running a little to the north of No. 2 pit to the middle of the town tank: the south boundary was also a fault which ran nearly east and west from the village of Ekarjuna.

"Ballarpuir Colliery.-The existence of coal at Ballarpur, some ten miles south of Chandrapur, had been suspected as early as 1871. In that year the Public Works Department of Hyderabad had discovered coal on the opposite bank of the Wardha near the village of Sasti. This discovery caused boring work to be taken in hand at Ballalpur at a spot opposite Sasti, but, after several unsuccessful attempts it was concluded that the bulk of the coalfield lay across the river, and work was stopped. In 1900, however, it became imperative to find a substitute for the.

Warora Colliery which was known to be approaching exhaustion, and a visit was paid to Ballalpur which resulted in the discovery of favourable indications. A small sum of money was sanctioned for exploration work, and, coal having been proved two bore-holes in the bed of the river, more bore-holes were, in spite of considerable local criticism, commenced to the east, and as a consequence coal was proved at a depth of 550 feet a mile from the river. More boring was then undertaken nearer the village of Ballalpur. As all boring had been done by hand, progress had hitherto been very slow. A trial pit was commenced in 1903 in order to get out samples of coal for trial purposes. The work laboured under severe difficulties: there was no road to Chanda and all machinery and boilers had to be drawn by bullocks over a rough country track; firewood had to be used for fuel and whenever the supply failed water rose up in the pit and stopped work; added to this, work was impossible during the rains. When coal was reached at a depth of 200 feet, it was decided to commence a second pit and begin to open out a new colliery. This second pit was sunk in 1906 to a depth of 257 feet, and the seam of coal was found to be 50 feet thick and of better quality than Warora coal. The actual output of coal remained insignificant until 1907, but in that year the railway reached Ballalpur and considerably assisted the work of opening out the mine. In January 1908, the daily output of coal reached 140 tons. Ballalpur is now a prosperous mining village, and the colliery has a great future before it. The capital outlay on the mine amounts to about nine lakhs, five lakhs of which represents the book value of stores and machinery transferred to it from the Warora Colliery. The colliery is connected with the station at Ballalpur by a line about a mile long with numerous sidings.

This extensive discovery of coal at Ballalpur is a matter of considerable interest. So far from the bulk of the coalfield lying on the Hyderabad side of the river, as was previously supposed, indications at present point to the outer edge only being across stream and the main body seems to extend a great distance into the Chanda District. All the collieries hitherto described are the property of Government. Of private enterprise there is little to record; a prospecting licence was granted to Messrs. J. and N. Tata of Bombay over an area of 2 square miles in the village of Dudholi near Ballalpur, and they sank several borings and a trial pit, but operations were abandoned when it was decided that the iron resources of the District were unsuitable to form the basis of an iron and steel industry. Coal has also been proved at several other sites mostly in the riverain tract along the banks of the Wardha in the Warora and Chanda tahsils. Mr. Theodore Hughes' paper on the Wardha Valley Coalfield in Volume XIII. part I of the Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India, gives an exhaustive account of the researches conducted and conclusions arrived at by him. In his opinion, the greatest-store of coal in the District is probably to the east of the town of Chanda, but the seams are, he supposes, too low down to be worth working. Outside the riverain tract, three seams with a total thickness of 38 feet have been proved at Bandar, and Mr. Hughes estimated the area of readily workable coal to be at least 6 square miles. This field is advantageously situated in respect of the iron ores of Lohara and Pimpalgaon, but as there now seems no prospect of these latter being worked on a commercial scale, this fact now has not the importance previously attached to it. Some coal of poor quality exists at Kotah, north of Sironcha. where boring operations were undertaken as far back as 1848. A little slaty coal and lignite has also been observed elsewhere in the Sironcha tahsil, but there does not appear to be any deposit of value.

"Iron.- The iron ores of Chanda have long excited the interest of investigators, and. situated as they are in close proximity to the coal and limestone in and about Warora, the question of exploiting them according to modern commercial methods has frequently been mooted. The first detailed examination of the local iron deposits was made by Mr. Theodore Hughes of the Geological Survey of India in 1873, whose paper on the subject will be found in Volume XIII, part I of the Memoirs of that body. He formed an extremely high estimate of the value of the iron deposits of Chanda. In 1875, Mr. Ness conducted experiments with the view of testing the practicability of smelting the local iron with the local coal, but the latter was found to be unsuitable for the blast furnace, although moderately good results were obtained with a reverbatory furnace. In 1881, Herr Ritter von Schwartz, an expert of great mining experience in Austria, made a survey of the local iron deposits and formed a highly sanguine opinion of the prospects of an industry on modern lines with headquarters to be placed at Durgapur. He contemplated an annual outturn of no less than 260,000 tons of iron and steel, and was of opinion that Chanda could not only supply the whole requirements of India in iron and steel, but would also be able to compete with the Continent in importing ferromanganese and Brescian steel into England. Subsequent investigations have shown that these anticipations were very highly coloured. In 1900, Major Mahon, R.E., was specially deputed by the Government of India to investigate and report on the prospect of an Indian iron and steel industry, and among other localities visited this District. His opinion of its natural resources was a high one. but difficulties of fuel and communication led him to place Chanda only third on the list of possible sites for a modern iron industry. In 1902 the same authority drew up a 'Note on the Chanda Iron Deposits' which gives a complete account of the iron resources of the District. When Messrs. J. and N. Tata conceived the scheme of the Iron and Steel Syndicate in 1907 to be floated by them, this District was the first locality selected by them for investigation. The results of this investigation were disappointing; not only was it found that the amount of ore available had been greatly over-estimated but there were also insuperable difficulties as to fuel and watersupply. The local coals are non-coking, and, though there was at one time some hope of overcoming this drawback by the aid Of certain German and American processes. Messrs. Tata were finally induced under the advice of their experts to leave inferior coals alone and go direct to the good coking coals of Bengal. Thus, for some years to come at any rate, the hope of seeing Chanda the Middlesborough of India must be abandoned.

The most common forms in which iron occurs in this District are those of the anhydrous ferric oxides (Fe2 O3), specular ore and red haematite. Magnetic oxide and limonite also occur. In the former, iron is found in the form of ferrous and ferric oxide combined while the latter is anhydrated ferric oxide. Laterite, an impure variety of limonite. is very common. Titaniferous iron ore is found in the sand of many streams. Except in the extreme west the ore is widely distributed, but Major Mahon distinguishes five principal deposits, viz., Lohara, Pipalgaon, Gunjewahi, Dewalgaon and Ratnapur, which have been visited and partially explored, and four other deposits which are, as far as is known at present, of less importance at Bhisi, Metapur, Ogulpet and Bhanpur. Undoubtedly the most interesting deposit in the District is the so-called iron hill of Lohara which was designated by Mr. Hughes as one of the wonders of the Indian mineral world. As a matter of fact, the hill is not an iron hill, but consists in the main of a massive outcrop of quartzite. through which, however, runs a lode of iron-stone of extraordinary richness which in places approaches a breadth of 30 or 40 yards. Major Mahon, in his detailed description of the hill says that he has never seen anything to equal the massive richness of the pure black specular ore heaped up in huge rocks which constitute the lode. The lode disappears underground alter a certain distance, and it was at one time supposed that it extended for several miles. Had this supposition been borne out by the facts, Lohara would have boasted a concentrated wealth of iron not to be exceeded elsewhere in the world, but Messrs. Tata's researches have revealed that the mineral wealth of Lohara has been very much exaggerated, and. according to their estimate, the five principal deposits of the District mentioned by Major Mahon do not collectively contain more than one and a half million tons of ore. If the quantity of the ore is disappointing, there is at least no doubt as to its quality, and samples taken from Lohara, Pipalgaon, Gunjewahi, and Dewalgaon and analysed by Major Mahon gave extraordinarily rich results, the usual percentage of iron being as high as 68. Local ore is exceptionally free from sulphur and phosphorus, and therefore, is eminently qualified for the manufacture both of iron and steel.

Smelting was once extensively practised by the aboriginal inhabitants of the District, but of late years this industry has been greatly on the decline."

"Limestone.- In addition to coal and iron, the third main essential for an iron industry, viz., limestone is also found in close proxmity to the two others. Rock limestone can he obtained from Vindhyan and Lameta beds, the former yielding a purer variety of fairly uniform composition. Vindhyan lime-stones occur at Kandara, six miles north of Warora, and at Nilijha eight miles west of that town. Lameta limestone is exposed two miles south of Warora at Karamgohan, and in the Wardha river at Mardha and elsewhere. Lime is also procurable in the neighbourhood of Warora and Bhandak in the form of the surface deposit called kankar which often contains a high Percentage of carbonate of lime. It has already been mentioned that fire-clay was extracted from the Warora mine, and this too would have been of service for a modern iron industry.''

Minerals of less importance.-Diamonds and rubies have been found in alluvial deposit and in laterite near Wairagarh, but are not regularly worked. Gold in minute quantities is found in the sands of the Wainganga, Indravati and Godavari rivers, and is washed by a wandering people called Sonjharis, who, however, make but a bare living out of the business. Gold washing is unpopular not only because it is not lucrative but also by reason of a superstition that those who practise it will be child-less. Auriferous sands are found in several other streams in the metamorphic area of the east, and major Lucie Smith wrote that the rocks in the south-east are undoubtedly auriferous, but no serious attempt has yet been made to ascertain their gold-bearing value. Abandoned copper workings may be seen at Thanwasana in the Chanda tahsil, and at Govindpur in the Bramhapuri tahsil; another mine is said to have been worked at Tanbagarhi Mendha near Rajoli. The story is that all these mines were closed by the Maratha Government about the middle of the 18th century in consequence of a belief that digging copper ore would bring evil to the country. A prospecting licence has recently been granted for some of these old mines. A limited quantity of manganese occurs in botryoidal masses in the red clays at Malagarh Hill, but the content of manganese is only 44.6 per cent as against an average standard of from 50 to 55 per cent in other parts of the Province. An application for a prospecting licence for manganese was received in 1907. Dark-green serpentine used to be extensively quarried at Jambulghata by Raja Raghuji III of Nagpur, but after his death the excavation was allowed to silt up. A quarry of black soapstone is found at the same place, and this material has been fairly extensively used for the manufacture of household vessels but the quarry is at present closed for lack of a lessee. Mica is found in small quantities in the Ahiri Zamindari. Talc and saltpetre also occur.

"Building Stone- The sandstones of the Kamthi group provide excellent building stones of every hue and texture. The city walls of Chandrapur were built out of these. Isapur produces a pink sandstone beautifully adapted for fine tracery work. The Vindhyans also furnish good building material, which in the north of the District is at present being extensively used in the construction of railway bridges. Quartzite and quartz give good road metal. Laterite is frequently used for wells and culverts. Hornblende schist, though soft, can be used in the dry climate of these parts, and the ease with which it can be quarried and dressed causes it to be sometimes employed in construction. Granite of all varieties occurs in unlimited quantities in the east of the District, and the coarser varieties would be suitable in ornamental work. Variegated sandstones with a singularly pleasing range of colours also occur in the Sironcha tahsil. It will be seen that the District can boast a goodly store of excellent building material, but unfortunately much of it is for the present locked up by distance and lack of communications."

Present Position.-The following statements show the number of persons engaged in mining as per 1951 and 1961 Censuses: --






Mining and Quarrying




Coal Mining-Mines primarily engaged in the extraction of anthracite and of soft coals such as bitumenous, sub-bitumenous and legnite.








Stone-quarrying, clay and sand pits. Extraction from the earth of stone, clay, sand and other Materials used in building of manufacture of cement.









Mining and Quarrying




Mining coal




Mining of iron ores




Mining of gold and silver ores




Quarrying of stone (including slate) clay, sand, gravel, lime stone.




Coal Mining.-The coal fields in the district are located at Bendar, Warora, Majri, Ghugus and Ballarpur. These deposits-are considered second grade and of a non-coking variety. The reserves in these collieries have been estimated at 2,306 million tons.

Though mining operations have not yet commenced, an area covering twelve square miles, 25 miles to the west of Tempa railway station is estimated to contain coal deposits to the extent of 1,080 lakh tons. Coal deposits around Warora estimated at about 90 lakh tons are spread over an area of two square miles. Every year about 500 tons of coal is extracted from the collieries around Majri. The coal deposits found around Ghugus are considered to be of a high quality. The deposits in Ghugus and Tilawasa collieries are estimated at about ten lakh tons. There are about three collieries around Chandrapur which are estimated to contain coal deposits of about ten lakh tons. New machinery and plants have recently been erected in the third colliery. The estimated coal deposits around Ballarpur are 20 lakh tons.

Mining leases for extraction of coal from 4,160.686 hectares (10,281.27 acres) were given to seven colliery companies in 1961 and 6.07 lakh metric tons of coal valued at Rs. 132.96 lakhs was extracted during the year. This figure further went up in 1962 and 1963 when 8.3 lakh tons and 8.4 lakh tons of coal respectively was extracted.

Irun Ores.- the main deposits of iron in the district are located at Lohara. Asola, Deolgaon, Piinpalgaon, Fuser, Ratnapur and Bhisi. Occurrences of deposits are reported at Maseli, Surajagad. Moregaon, Vithalgaon and in Government forest at Sindewahi. Red Oxide of iron occurs at Babupeth near Chandrapur. These deposits are estimated at 21.61 million tons.

The deposits at Lohara are spread in an area admeasuring 3 to 8 miles in length, 200 yards in breadth and 150 to 200 feet deep. The deposits are estimated at 200 lakh tons. Iron contents are estimated to be 69 per cent. At Asola the deposits are found in 410 yards with a depth of 40 to 50 feet. The deposits are estimated at four lakh tons and percentage of iron contents varies from 65 to 99. The deposits at Deolgaon are estimated at 2,30,000 tons with iron contents varying between 61 per cent and 67 per cent. At Bhisi deposits the iron contents are 69 per cent. At Pimpalgaon the deposits are estimated to contain 71 per cent of iron contents. At Fuser. a distance of 30 miles from Mul railway station, the deposits are estimated at several lakh tons with contents of 69 per cent. Surajgad deposits are estimated at 10 lakh tons.

During 1960-61. five mining companies were given leases for exploitation of iron ore from 287.683 hectares (710.88 acres). The companies exploited iron ore to the extent of 2.837 metric tonnes with the sale value of Rs. 17,450. In 1961. iron ore of 4,675 metric tonnes was exploited. It further increased to 13,023 metric tonnes in 1962 but fell to 3,322.14 metric tonnes in 1963.

Clay.-The deposits of white clay occur at Kothari, Isapur, Ballarpur, Junara and Warora reserve forest and Bhadravati in Warora tahsil. The quantity of clay varies from deposits to deposits as also the colour which varies from pure white to various tints of brown and red. The clay is used for local pottery works.

Leases for exploitation of clay from 62.828 hectares (155.25 acres) were granted to seven companies in 1960-61. The output of clay was 9,271 metric tonnes during 1961 and 3,323.16 metric tonnes during 1963.

Miscellaneous.-Lime stone is found at Nigi, Borai, Purkepar, Kandla and Mardha exploitation of which has not been undertaken so far. Two companies were given leases in 1960-61 for exploitation of yellow ochres from 11.837 hectares (29.25 acres) in the Government forests of Chandrapur range. Copper deposits are known to occur at Govindpur and Thanewasne in Chandrapur tahsil. It is a promising copper hearing area. The district is also bestowed with the deposits of mica and other minerals like building stones, brick, earth, etc. Deposits of basium sulphate used in the manufacture of colours is traced at Mahadvadi in Chandrapur tahsil Besides the possibility of finding deposits of diamonds, gold and manganese is also not ruled out.

With so much mineral wealth the district is bound to advance from its present backwardness towards a sound economy in the near future, as a systematic survey of these areas may reveal many new deposits and may afford new opportunities.

Electricity Generation.

Electricity is supplied to the district by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board through the Ballarpur thermal power station 10 miles from Chandrapur. The Ballarpur thermal power station was commissioned during the First Five Year Plan. Important places like Wardha, Amravati, Yeotmal, Arvi, Karanja and Akola are connected with the grid supply from this power station. Places in Brahmapuri and Gadhchiroli tahsils of the district are connected with the grid system from the thermal power station at Khaperkheda near Nagpur.

By the end of March 1964, there were 50 electrified villages and towns in the district.

The following table taken from the 1961 Census Handbook gives the list of towns and villages electrified in the district:-



Villages Electrified

Towns Electrified














Lohwahi Tola















Ghugus Colliery (I)

Ghugus Colliery (II)







Electricity to the tune of 12,52,000 K. W. H. was consumed for domestic purposes in 1961-62. The consumption increased by 6.47 per cent in 1962-63 and decreased by 0.03 per cent in 1963-64. The consumption of electricity per person in areas served with electricity worked out to nearly 6 K. W. II. during 1963-64.

Consumption of power for industrial purposes in the district is very high. During 1961-62. 2,77,42,000 K. W. H. of electricity was consumed for industrial purposes. It increased by 8.20 per cent in 1962-63 and by 32.88 per cent in 1963-64 over that in 1961-62. In 1963-64 the consumption worked out to 272 K.W.H. per worker. The rates charged for consumption differed with the purpose for which it was consumed. As regards industrial power, the rate was 15 paise per unit up to the consumption of 200 units and for consumption above 200 units the rate was 13 paise per unit.

The following table taken from the Chanda District Census Handbook. 1961 gives the district consumption of electricity on different items for the period from 1953 to 1957-58.



(In thousands of K. W. H.)


K. W. H. Genera-ted

K. W. H. Purchas-ed

K. W. H. Sold to Public

Public Lighting

Other purpo-ses


Domestic consump-tion

Commercial light and small power

Industrial power























































Note: Figures for the year 1957-58 pertain to 15 months. Source: Reports of Central Water and Power Commission.