COAL MINE AT KALAKOTE
Kalakote is Tehsil Headquarter of Rajouri District and is comprised of 68 villages and 0.75 lac population as per DISNIC Survey 1995. Out of these 0.41 lacs are Hindus, 0.33 lacs are Muslims and 0.01 lacs are Sikhs. It is a mountainous track falling in between Koteranka and Sunderbani. The main livelihood of the people is agriculture and allied activities. In the beginning of 50s, a Thermal Power Station was established at Kalakote keeping in view the available coal resources. But after commissioning of this project, it was found that the coal available at site was not suitable for the project due to which, the project is closed at present. However, coal is the main resource of the Tehsil, which is presently being exported outside.
Man’s progress in civilization from the historic stage has been punctuated by his mastery over technology in extracting the mineral resources from different geological formations of diverse ages and in utilizing these mineral resources in various industries for the manufacture of essential products for human life. Economic edifice of any country depends upon is industrial growth, which in turn is dependable upon the availability of mineral resources of that country. Minerals are broadly grouped into two categories VIZ. Metallic and Non-Metallic
Metallic minerals find their use in the manufacture of a small pin up to an aircraft and big vehicle. The non-metallic minerals are used in Tailoring trade, agriculture, and medicine and in big industries for the manufacture of various items of our daily use. Ever since man’s emergence from the Neolithic, pursuit for metals and the development of metallurgy has been the keystone of his economic and industrial progress. Minerals thus form one of the modern world’s important resource in support and fulfillment of human life. The wide range of their uses has made great exploitation on the world’s stock of minerals and in some cases to such an extent that their accessibility stock in the earth’s crust is reaching depletion point. The diminishing resource of minerals have called forth warning note from geologist and industrial economists. Researchers and technologists have made exhaustive efforts to minimize the consumption of metals and to use non- mineral products such as plastic in place of metals so that the exponential rate at which our civilization is consuming the land based mineral resources be put off.
The state Jammu and Kashmir particularly the district Rajouri which is rounded by Riasi in east, Mirpur district (Occupied by Pakistan) in west and Kashmir valley in north and Poonch district in northwest is endowed with metallic, non- metallic minerals and solid fuel. The terrain of the Rajouri is mountainous having maximum altitude of 4535 m in Dhakiar-rupri area on the Pir Panjal Range, the southwestern flank of which forms the northern periphery of the area, whereas the Sivalik and murree hills from the southern part of the area. The Nowshera tawi and Ans rivers are the main rivers of the district Rajouri, which joins river Chenab at Arnas and Chamb respectively. Coal, Limestone, Bauxite and Iron ore. The main mineral resources present in this area are:
The basis source of energy for the industrial development is the coal, the solid or fossil fuel as it is called and the district Rajouri has Kalakote, Methka, Moghla, Chokkar the main coal. The coal is of semi-anthracite having fixed carbon for percentage from 79 to 80, which is related to Himalayan. The intense and complex tectonic movement has restricted the economical limits of these coalfields. However, these can meet the increasing demand of local consumption and industrial development of Jammu region.
Limestone is an important raw material used in the manufacture of cement and in chemical, metallurgical, paper making glass manufacture and sugar refining. It is also used in bleaching powder and caustic soda. Extensive deposits of limestone associated with carboniferous sequence of Kalakote, Methka and Thannamandi area of Rajouri district can be placed in any of its above industrial use only after conducting systematic geological investigation.
It is good source of aluminium and can be used for extraction of aluminium metal. It can be used for refractory purposes and also for the extraction of gallium. It is a blanket type of deposit occurring unconformable over the great limestone of Kalakote, Methka, Moghla and Chakkar area. It is generally dark gray to cream in color and exhibited diasporic variety.
Though district Rajouri is devoid of any significant occurrence of iron ores but in Gagrot-Khandli devi area iron ore occurs in a lenticular band associated with carbonaceous and fessuginous shake and slate.
It is clay type of deposits usually shows whitish color and gives soapy touch. It is used in oil well drilling, oil refining, paints, sealing in reservoirs and irrigational canals. It also finds its use in agricultural spray insecticides. Thick bands of bentonite are located in three different places near Budhal. In addition to these minerals resources present in Rajouri district, the Panjal trap has a massive volcanic rock, which forms the northern and northwestern. Envisions of Rajouri city can be used in building purpose. With the increasing demand of the stone industry, polished slabs of Panjal traps can be manufactured after arriving at their physical mineralogical and textural properties.
Murree formation supposed to be the main source of hydrocarbon is predominantly developed in this area. Unfortunately success in exploring the oil and natural gas commission workers have not achieved petroleum in saruinsar area due to certain technical problems, extensive efforts are being made by these workers in Rajouri district also to locate sports for exploration of petroleum in future.