8 mn ton Lignite in Kupwara remains untapped

Large deposits of lignite remain untapped in Nichhma area of Handwara in this district. Due to lack of capital and technology, state-owned J&K Minerals Limited (JKML) has failed to extract this underground wealth found in abundance in the area.
Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited in a joint survey revealed that reserves of more than eight million ton lignite are in Nichama village.
J&K Mineral had made a proposal to exploit the resource “as captive product for thermal power station to be set up at the site.”
According to the survey there are more reserves of lignite, a low rank coal used in thermal power generation, in Chowkbal and Keran areas of Kupwara.
Locals said it is unfortunate that the natural resources in Kashmir, a place which is facing energy deficit, have been left untapped.
“Government’s inefficiency in mobilizing capital and bringing in technology for exploitation of this mineral wealth is costing heavily to the state. It has been due to state government’s inability to mobilize the required capital that such resources remain unexploited,” they said.
“Despite having huge mineral wealth in the state JKMNL is running into loss,” experts said.
Lignite, often referred to as brown coal, is a soft brown combustible sedimentary rock formed from naturally compressed peat. It is considered the lowest rank of coal due to its relatively low heat content.