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Impact of open cast coal mining on physico-chemical characteristics of soil in Jharia coalfield and its comparative study with the soil of non-mining areas (Baliapur and Sindri) of Dhanbad, Jharkhand

Nilesh Kumar Singha*, L.B.Singha , S.K.Sinhaa
aDeptt. of Zoology, P.K.R.M. College, Vinoba Bhave University, Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India
Received : 25th June, 2016; Revised: 19th August, 2016

Abstract : Jharia coalfield is one of the most important source of prime coking coal in our country. Coal is being considered as the very important fossil fuel resource that is found in Jharia. Coal has a major role in fulfilling the energy requirements. Open cast mining is used on large scale for coal extraction but open cast mining activities involve so many harmful activities which affect the top soils very badly. Due to blasting, drilling and quantity of explosives used for open cast mining activities the nutrients quality and microbial activities of the soil system gets highly disturbed. Open cast mining also causes the loss of bio-diversity as it releases huge amount of mining wastes to the upper part of the land 5-14surface as overburden dump materials. It is also the reality that in our country most of the coal production takes place just due to open cast mining. The open cast mining activities cause various kinds of environmental degradation, loss of soil fertility and ecological changes as well. This paper presents the results of the study carried out in mining areas i.e. Bastacola and Lodna. The soil characteristics have been compared with soil characteristics found in non-mining areas like Baliapur and Sindri. It has been observed that the soil quality of mining areas have comparatively low pH, low moisture content and high electrical conductivity. The present comparative study of soil are very vital to understand that how open cast mining activities are damaging the ideal physico-chemical characteristics of soil. The obtained results are also very beneficial for planning the rehabilitation programmes for Jharia coalfield.

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