Jharia is a neighbourhood in Dhanbad city in Dhanbad Sadar subdivision of Dhanbad district in Jharkhand state, India. Jharia's economy is heavily dependent on the local coal fields, used to make coke. However, fires in the coal fields have made the city heavily polluted, with several government studies recommending relocation of much of the population to nearby Belgaria.[2][3]

Neighbourhood in Dhanbad
Jharia coalfield
Jharia coalfield
Jharia is located in Jharkhand
Location in Jharkhand, India
Jharia is located in India
Jharia (India)
Coordinates: 23°45′06″N 86°25′13″E / 23.751568°N 86.420345°E / 23.751568; 86.420345Coordinates: 23°45′06″N 86°25′13″E / 23.751568°N 86.420345°E / 23.751568; 86.420345
77 m (253 ft)
 • Total81,979
 • OfficialHindi, Urdu
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Vehicle registrationJH

As of 2011, Jharia was the fifteenth-largest town in the state of Jharkhand.[4] Subsequently, Jharia plays a very important role in the economy and development of the metropolitan area around Dhanbad City.


Current Member of Parliament for Jharia is from is Pashupati Nath Singh from BJP who represents Dhanbad district in 2019 Lok Sabha. Current Member of Legislative Assembly is Purnima Niraj Singh from congress


Cities, towns and locations in the central portion of Dhanbad Sadar subdivision in Dhanbad district
MC: Municipal Corporation, CT: Census Town, N: Neighbourhood, R: Rural/ Urban centre
Owing to space constraints in the small map, the actual locations in a larger map may vary slightly


Jharia is located at 23°45′06″N 86°25′13″E / 23.751568°N 86.420345°E / 23.751568; 86.420345.

Note: The map alongside presents some of the notable locations in the area. All places marked in the map are linked in the larger full screen map.

Jharia, earlier a census town, was combined with other urban units to form Dhanbad Municipal Corporation in 2006.[5][6]

Jharia is spread over parts of Ward Nos. 36,37 and 38 of Dhanbad Municipal Corporation.[7]


The region shown in the map is a part of the undulating uplands bustling with coalmines in the lowest rung of the Chota Nagpur Plateau. The entire area shown in the map is under Dhanbad Municipal Corporation, except Belgaria which is under Baliapur (community development block). The places in the DMC area are marked as neighbourhoods. The DMC area shown in the map is around the core area of Dhanbad city. Another major area of DMC is shown in the map of the southern portion of the district. A small stretch of DMC, extending up to Katras is shown in the map of the western portion. The region is fully urbanised. Jharia (community development block) has been merged into DMC. Three operational areas of BCCL operate fully within the region – Sijua Area, Kusunda Area and Bastacola Area.[8][9][10][11][12][13]

Police stationEdit

There is a police station at Jharia.[14][15]


As of 2001 India census,[16] Jharia had a population of 81,979. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Jharia has an average literacy rate of 68%, lower than the national average of 74.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 60%. In Jharia, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.


According to the state government this is the worst site of India, the town of Jharia is to be shifted due to the uncontrollable coal mine fires (see below), which have found to be undousable, leading to loss of property and lives. Coal worth Rs. 60,000 crore (US$12 billion) is lying unmined, and the state government feels the shifting will help in exploiting this resource.[17] The Jharia Rehabilitation and Development Authority is supposed to relocate much of the population to Belgaria and other towns nearby.[2] However, as of 2017, the organization was facing considerable challenges in acquiring land and doing construction,[2] and a 2016 book reporting on the relocation effort, found that the relocation was not accounting for Just Transition of jobs, or adequate high quality housing.[3]

Coal fieldEdit

Jharia Coal mine

The coal field lies in the Damodar River Valley, and covers about 110 square miles (280 square km), and produces bituminous coal suitable for coke. Most of India's coal comes from Jharia. Jharia coal mines are India's most important storehouse[18] of prime coke coal used in blast furnaces, it consists of 23 large underground and nine large open cast mines.[17]

The mining activities in these coalfields started in 1894 and had really intensified in 1925. The first Indians to arrive and break monopoly of British in Coal mining were Gujarati.

After the mines were nationalized in 1971, due to easy availability of coal, many steel plants were set up in close proximity to Jharia.

Coal field fireEdit

Jharia is famous for a coal field fire that has burned underground for a century. The first fire was detected in 1916.[17] According to records, it was the Khas Jharia mines of Seth Khora Ramji, who was a pioneer of Indian coalmines, whose mines were one of the firsts to collapse in underground fire in 1930. Two of his collieries, Khas Jharia and Golden Jharia, which worked on maximum 260-foot-deep shafts,[19] collapsed due to now infamous underground fires, in which their house and bungalow also collapsed on 8 November 1930, causing 18 feet subsidence and widespread destruction.[20][21][19][22][23][24] The fire never stopped despite sincere efforts by mines department and railway authorities and in 1933 flaming crevasses lead to exodus of many residents.[19] The 1934 Nepal–Bihar earthquake led to further spread of fire and by 1938 the authorities had declared that there is raging fire beneath the town with 42 collieries out of 133 on fire.[25]

In 1972, more than 70 mine fires were reported in this region. As of 2007, more than 400,000 people who reside in Jharia are living on land in danger of subsidence due to the fires, and according to Satya Pratap Singh, "Jharia township is on the brink of an ecological and human disaster".[26] The government has been criticized for a perceived lackadaisical attitude[27] towards the safety of the people of Jharia.[28] Heavy fumes emitted by the fires[29] lead to severe health problems such as breathing disorders and skin diseases among the local population.[30]


Ammonia pollutionEdit

In 2018, researchers at Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) in Belgium revealed a created map of global atmospheric ammonia, by combining nine years of satellite data, that show Jharia and surroundings are heavily ammonia polluted from burning coal mines.[34] The emitted ammonia reacts rapidly with other air pollutants, and thereby helps to form fine particulate matter that shortens the human lifespan through respiratory and coronary diseases. Moreover, the gaseous ammonia and ammonium compounds formed from it in the atmosphere, are deposited into ecosystems, throughout the Himalayas, damaging sensitive habitats — especially those naturally adapted to need clean air.[35]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Maps, Weather, and Airports for Jharia, India".
  2. ^ a b c "Living above a century-old coal fire, Jharia residents pay the price for India's mining ambitions". Mongabay Environmental News. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b Pai, Sandeep; Carr-Wilson, Savannah (2018). Total Transition: The Human Side of the Renewable Energy Revolution. Rocky Mountain Books. ISBN 978-1-77160-248-8.
  4. ^ "Jharkhand cities and town, world-gazetteer.com".[dead link]
  5. ^ "Dhanbad Municipal Corporation". DMC. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Dhanbad Dsitrict Map". Physical Map of Dhanbad. Jharkhand Government. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Dhanbad Municipal Corporation". प्रादेशिक निर्वाचन क्षेत्रों की सूची (in Hindi). Jharkhand Government. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  8. ^ "District Census Handbook Dhanbad" (PDF). Series 21, Part XIIA, pages 4-5, 5-6, 8. Directorate of Census Operations, Jharkhand. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  9. ^ "2011 Census C.D. Block Wise Primary Census Abstract Data(PCA)". Jharkhand – District-wise CD Blocks. Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Area". Bharat Coking Coal Limited. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Dhanbad Municipal Corporation". DMC. Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Dhanbad Dsitrict Map". Physical Map of Dhanbad. Jharkhand Government. Archived from the original on 5 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Dhanbad Municipal Corporation". प्रादेशिक निर्वाचन क्षेत्रों की सूची (in Hindi). Jharkhand Government. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Jharkhand Police". Contact Numbers. JP. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Dhanbad – Welcome to the Coal Capital of India". Administrative Structure of Dhanbad District – List of Thana and Outpost of Dhanbad Outpost. Jharkhand Government. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including building,cities, villages ,farm and towns IMPORTANT NOTICE this site is not good(Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 16 June 2004. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  17. ^ a b c Mishra, Law Kumar (31 August 2006). "Jharia to be shifted". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  18. ^ "The Jharia coal field fire". Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2008.
  19. ^ a b c Amin, Samir; Amin, Shahid; Linden, Marcel van der (1997). Peripheral Labour: Studies in the History of Partial Proletarianization edited by Shahid Amin, Marcel van der Linden. p. 83. ISBN 9780521589000.
  20. ^ Gazetteers of Bengal, Assam, Bihar & Orissa 1917 Khora Ramji Colliries
  21. ^ Khora Ramji Mines capsized in 1938
  22. ^ Diary of Golden Days at Jharia – A Memoir & History of Gurjar Kashtriya Samaj of Kutch in Coalfields of Jharia – written by Natwarlal Devram Jethwa:1998 Page:12
  23. ^ Nanji Bapa ni Nondh-pothi published in Gujarati in year 1999 from Vadodara. It is a diary of Railway Contracts done by KGK community noted by Nanji Govindji Tank of Jamshedpur, compiled by Dharsibhai Jethalal Tank, Tatanagar. (Aank Sidhhi awarded to book by Kutch Shakti at Mumbai in 2000): Life Sketch of Seth Khora Ramji Chawra Page :76
  24. ^ [1] The Jharia underground fire still raging first came to notice in November, 1930 with subsidance at Seth Khora Ramji's Khas Jharia Colliery(Page 159). He was told that Seth Khora Ramji, whose mines lay underneath Jharia, had chosen to live in his house, which also collapsed in subsidance(Page 160). "The politics of labour under late colonialism: workers, unions, and the state in Chota Nagpur, 1928–1939 by Dilip Simeon."
  25. ^ Searchlight, 24 January 1936.
  26. ^ Hindustan Times, 15 December 2007[dead link]
  27. ^ The Jharia mine fire control technical assistance project: an analysis, April 2004
  28. ^ "Inside Coal Mine Fires", a documentary, 2005
  30. ^ In the line of fire, indiatogether.org
  31. ^ "RSP College". Jharia.in. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  32. ^ "New site for oldest school". The Telegraph, 8 October 201. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  33. ^ "Jharia king's family wants royal museum in abandoned building". The Telegraph, 1 January 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  34. ^ Specktor, Brandon (5 December 2018). "Scary Map Shows Where Animal Poop Is Turning into Deadly Ammonia Pollution". Live Science. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  35. ^ Howard, Clare M.; Sutton, Mark A. (2018). "Satellite pinpoints ammonia sources globally". Nature. 564 (7734): 49–50. Bibcode:2018Natur.564...49S. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07584-7. PMID 30518893.
  36. ^ "Adra Division Railway Map". South Eastern Railway.
  37. ^ "East Coast Railway System Map" (PDF). East Coast Railway.

External linksEdit

Further readingEdit