Bharat Coking Coal Limited
According to Isabell Zipfel of Fire on Earth: Shortly after 1971, the coal mines of India were nationalized, and one of its operators became BCCL, which conducts mainly open cast mining. Mostly of that mining, Zifel says, is illegall:
- "since in 97% of the cases no license has been granted. Opencast mining is more profitable than deep mining. The productivity and extracted quantities are significantly higher than in deep mining and cost less. In Jharia, coal is mined in the villages, next to the houses, in short, on people’s doorsteps. Even on the streets, on railway lines, in the station itself, which is not a station any more, coal is mined. Really, the mined area should be filled with sand and water afterwards, so it can be cultivated again. For cost reasons, however, this never happens, which leads to the coal seams coming into contact with oxygen and catching fire. India has the most coal blazes worldwide. BCCL representatives estimate there are 67 fires in Jharia alone."