Non Conventional Sources of Energy

In countries like Lithunia, France, Belgum, Sweden and many others more than 50 per cent energy needs are met through nuclear power. Today non-conventional sources of energy include wind, tides, geothermal heat, bio-gas, farm and animal waste including human excreta. All these sources are renewable or inexhaustible. They are inexpensive in nature. These are pollution free. These help in decentralization of Industries. Energy can be developed in rural areas. There can be developed and maintained at low costs.

Due to acute shortage of conventional sources of energy, it has become necessary to explore the possibilities of using non-conventional source of energy A Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES) has been created in 1992 for this purpose. Its achievements so far are as under :-

(a) Wind energy: Wind energy today accounts for 1.3% of total energy generation capacity of India. It is be used for pumping water, irrigating farms for generating electricity. The states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Orissa are better placed in regard to this energy. Wind mills are established in areas of high speed winds. India has a potential of 45,000 MW of power generation. The first wind farm was set up at Mandavi (Gujarat) in 1986.

The Turbines of wind mills are rotated with the force of wind velocity. At present wind farms of capacity of 970 MW have been installed. India is the third country in the world to develop wind power on a large scale. There are about 3000 wind mills.

(b) Tidal energy: The Gulfs of Kutch and Cambay are ideally suited to develop electricity from the energy produced by high tides entering into narrow creeks. A 900 MW tidal power station is being set up in gulf of Kutch. It is an inexhaustible and inexpensive source of energy.

(c) Geo-thermal energy: Efforts are on to utilize natural energy of the hot springs at Manikaran in Himachal Pradesh. Puga, Parvati valley, Tattapani are other sites. Hot water is converted into steam to drive the turbines. Hot springs are used for heating purposes. India has a potential of 10600 MW of power from it.

(d) Energy from urban waste. Sewage in cities is used for generating gas and electricity. Various wastes are treated such as sewage waste, vegetable waste, waste from leather, sugar, paper indus tries. A 4 MW energy plant at Delhi, A 2.75 MW energy plant using husk in Andhra, 1 MW plant at
Faizabad Distillery, have been established. About 145 million tonnes of Agricultural waste can generate 14000 MW power. Energy from Plantations and Bagasse is also developed.

(e) Bio-gas based power plants: Bagasse, farm wastes, rice husk are being used to produce electricity. The National Project on Biogas was set up in 1981-82. It provides a clean and cheap source of energy in rural areas upto now a 25 lakh Biogas plants have been installed, saving 75 lakh tonnes of fuel wood per year valued at Rs. 375 crore per year. Besides these plants generate 360 lakh tonnes of enriched manure. Smokeless chullahas (28 million) remove smoke, pollution and check deforestation and save 115 lakh tonnes of fuel wood.

(f) Farm animal and human wastes: By using biomass, animal, poultry wastes and human excreta, gobar gas plants are being set up in villages. The power so produced is used for cooking, lighting homes and streets and meeting irrigation needs of the village. A pilot plant (4 MW) has been set up in Delhi for the conversion of urban waste into energy.

(g) Solar Energy: It is the most abundant, cheapest and inexhaustible source of energy produced from sun-light. Many parts of our country have about 300 sunny days. Therefore, it is possible to generate 20 MW solar power per square kilometre. Solar cookers are used in cooking food. Solar power is being used for cooking, water heating, water desalination, space heating, crop drying. Solar energy is used for solar lanterns, street lights railway signals, traffic signals (as in Delhi) rural telephones, TV, Radios, etc.

Conventional Sources of Energy

Based on use over a period of time, sources of energy are divided into two types — Conventional sources and Non Conventional sources. Conventional Sources of Energy chiefly include fossil fuels. The fossil fuels are coal, mineral oil and gas. They are formed from remains of dead plants and animals or fossils. The reserves of fossil fuels are very limited. At the global level world consumption of conventional sources Of energy (coal, petrol, gas, hydel and nuclear) are given in the pie-diagram below.

Oil, gas and coal together account for 90% of total consumption at world level, in India this source accounts for only 70.6%. Hydro-power which is regarded as a renewable source of energy accounts for as much as a quarter of India’s total energy consumption. By world standards, India’s share of wind-energy, also a non-conventional and renewable resource, is substantial (1.3%).

Over the last two decades India has made substantial additions to its thermal power generation capacity as a result of which contribution of hydel power has come down from 41.96% in 1980-81 to 25.5% in 2001.
In absolute terms installed power generation capacity in the country has risen from 1,400 MW in 1947 to, 1,02,000 MW at the end of 2001. It consisted of Thermal 72,000 MW, Hydel 25,600 MW, Nuclear
2,800 MW and Wind 1,600 MW in 2001. India’s thermal power sources include coal, gas and diesel based power plants. It is important to study about these resources.


Coal is the prime source of energy. It is often called the Mother of Industries or Black gold. It has been the basis of industrial revolution. Coal is used as a raw material in iron and steel, chemical industries. Coal is the main source to produce thermal power. India ranks seventh in the world as regards coal reserves. The total proven coal reserves are nearly 214,000 million tonnes. These reserves will not last long. The major states known for coal reserves are Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, M.P., Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Production. Coal production started in 1774 in Raniganj coal field (West Bengal). After independence, production of coal has increased 6 times. It has increased from 35 million tonnes in 1951 to 310 million tonnes in 2001. The per capita consumption of coal has increased from 135 kg in 1951 to nearly 400 kg in 2001. .

Distribution. India has two types of coal fields:
(a) Gondwana coal fields (98%) (b) Tertiary coal field (2%)
(a) Gondwana coal fields. These belong to the period of Gondwana age. Nearly 3/4th of coal deposits are found in Damodar valley (Damuda series). Godavari, Mahanadi, Sone and Wardha valley have also coal deposits. .
(i) West Bengal. West Bengal has the oldest coal field of India at Raniganj. It covers an area of 1267 sq. km.
(ii) Bihar and Jharkhand State. Bihar and Jharkhand produce 50% coal of India. The major coal fields of Tharia, Bokaro, Karanpura, Daltenganj are found in Damodar valley. Coking coal from this coal field is supplied to steel centres of Jamshedpur, Asansol, Durgapur and Bokaro.
(iii) MadhyaPradesh. Madhya Pradesh has Sone valley coal fields of Suhagpur, Korba, (Chhattisgarh), Rampur, Tatapani, Singrauli.
(iv) Other areas. Singareni in Andhra, Taichar in Mahandi valley, Chanda-Wardha coal fields of Maharashtra.


Petroleum is the most important source of power in the present age. Many by-products such as kerosene, fuel, lubricating oils, grease, coke and asphalt are obtained from petroleum. Petro-chemical products have become very useful. Petroleum is used in agriculture industry, transport, paints, perfumes, cosmetics etc. It is the source of foreign exchange for many oil exporting countries. So it is rightly called the ‘liquid gold’.
Production. In about 10 lath sq. km. oil bearing rocks are found in India. The oil reserves in India are estimated to be 50 crore metric tonnes.
The first oil field in India was discovered in 1867 at Makum in Assam. At present the production is as under :—
(1) Assam. In Assam oil is produced in Digboi, Moran, Naharkatiya and Sibsagar regions.
(2) Gujarat. In Gujarat oil is produced in Gulf of Cambay region at Kalol, Ankleshwar, Lunej etc.
(3) Maharashtra. Oil has struck in the off-shore region at Mumbai High along the coast of Mumbai. It is the leading producer of crude oil in India. North Bassein and South Bassein are the important oil fields.

The production of oil in India is increasing every where under the organization of Oil and Natural Gas Commission. The production of oil in India rose from 26 lath tonnes in 1951 to 325 lath tonnes in 2001 (Refer to Stop Press also). India meets about 40% of its demands by home production. We import crude oil from foreign countries and other petroleum products also. India has undertaken measure to accelerate exploration formulated India Hydro carbon vision 2025 under the proposal private sector participation is expected to maximize indigenous petroleum production.


There were about 17 refineries in the country in 2001. Out of the 17 refineries, 15 were public section, one in joint sector and one in private sector. These refineries also supply cooking gas or liquefied petroleum gas (L.P.G.) as domestic fuel. It has succeeded in reducing demand on our shrinking forests.

Natural Gas

Production of Natural Gas in 2001 has reached about 30 billion cubic metres (BCM). Natural gas is obtained from the oil fields. It is a prime source of energy for cooking in domestic field. It is called LPG and is
supplied through pipelines. Reserves of Natural gas are located in Tripura, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. A gas pipeline, from Hazira, (Gujarat) Bijaipur to Jagdishpur (UP)-1700 km Long has been constructed to produce fertilisers at different plants at Bijapur, Sawai Madhopur, Jagdishpur, Shahjahanpur, Anwala and Barbala.

Nuclear Energy

During the year 2000, nuclear energy generated crossed 14,900 million units. Nuclear energy is generated by splitting atomic minerals. The process is called atomic fission. Uranium, Monazite, Thorium, Placer deposits, Cheralite, Graphite and Zirconium are used for generation of nuclear power or atomic energy. India is rich in these minerals. The Babha Atomic Research Centre has been set up at Trombay (Maharashtra) for research in Nuclear Science. The first underground Nuclear Test was conducted on May 18, 1974 at Pokhran (Rajasthan). On 11 May 1988 five underground Nuclear Tests were conducted at Pokhran. Thus India became a world nuclear power.

Uranium and Thorium are used as raw materials for generating atomic power. These minerals are found in Bihar, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1947 in India. There are today 14 atomic power nuclear reactors at Tarapur, Kota, Kalapakkam, Narora, Kaiga (Kamataka), Kakapur (Gujarat) and at some other places.

In countries like Lithunia, France, Belgium, Sweden and many others more than 50 per cent energy needs are met through nuclear power. The use of atomic energy is increasing in the field of medicine and agriculture. It is being used to improve the quality of seeds. It can be used for exploring the mineral wealth of India. Atomic energy is being used in India for many peaceful purposes like development of man-made lakes, diversion of Rivers, and use in Medical Science. India is rich in atomic minerals like uranium and thorium. India’s growing capability in nuclear technology has resulted in achieving a new high of 82 per cent of average capacity factor of the plants.

There is shortage of coal, petroleum, and water power in India. In such areas, Nuclear energy plays a complementary role in the development of Industries.

Types of Power Resources

Power is described as the rate of producing and consuming energy. The modern unit of measurement of power is Watt. In ordinary language one horsepower corresponds to 746 watts. A unit of electrical power equals to product of voltage and current.

Sources of Power

Today chief sources of power are energy from fossil fuels such as coal, petrol, gas, nuclear materials, falling water, sunshine, wind and some other sources. Some are used to produce electricity, others directly in motor vehicles and machines such as coal, petrol and gas. Sources of power such as sunshine, winds or falling water are converted into electricity. The fossil fuels require combustion. As a result produce many gases and wastes causing damage to environment. Two-fifth of world’s energy consumption today comes from burning oil and the rest from burning coal and natural gas.

Standard of Living

Energy consumption today is a major factor contributing to economic development and consequently energy consumption is determinant of standard of living. If all the energy consumed were measured in terms
of kilograms of coal per capita, the following table gives an idea how energy is used at global level. The table clearly shows how energy consumption varies between developed and developing countries.
The difference in consumption is more than 25-40 times.

Types of Power Resources

A source of energy is required to turn a turbine, a kind of rotary device to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy In thermal power stations this is done by burning fossil fuels like gas and petroleum, with the turning of the turbine generators produce electricity. In the case of hyrdo-electricity, a propeller with many blades is turned by falling water. Wind generators produce electricity when wind turns their rotors. In coal based power stations it is the steam-turbine that generates electricity In gas turbines, hot gases from burning fuel turn the turbines. In a similar manner machines and engines of vehicles are also turned. In the case of solar energy heat and light from the sun consisting of electro-magnetic radiation is converted directly to electricity From this description of how electricity is produced it can be easily inferred that combustion of fossil fuels involves production of many wastes. As against this falling water does not involve production of any wastes. It can also be used again and again. Based on sources energy can be divided into Renewable and Non-Renewable sources.
(i) Non-Renewable Sources of Energy: These sources of energy are exhaustible. Their deposits can not be renewed or replenished after use. These sources include fossil fuels – coal, petrol, gas and even forest wood.
(ii) Renewable Sources of Energy: These energy resources can be renewed. Their sources of supply may also be continuous type. These include water, solar energy, wind energy, tidal and geothermal energy.

Multipurpose Projects for Irrigation in India

The extension of irrigation and generation of power are two national priorities. The harnessing of river water resources for these two purposes is being realized through construction of dams across many rivers. These dams serve many needs like for example diversion of water through irrigation.

Multipurpose Projects for Irrigation in India

canals to where it is needed most, generation of hydro-electric power, control of floods, creation of lakes to serve as tourist sides, promote industrial development, afforestation, development of fisheries, make rivers navigable and above all encourage proper water management. For this reason they are known as Multipurpose River Valley Projects. Jawaharlal Nehru called these Projects “Temples of Modem India”.

Some of the important river valley projects are the following:

1. Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC)
2. The Bhakra Nangal Project
3. The Indira Gandhi Canal Project
4. The Hirakud Project
5. The Tungabhadra Project
6. The Nagarjuna Sagar Project
7. The Rihand Project
8. The Chambal Project
9. The Namarda Valley (Sardar Sarover Project)
10. Farakka Barrage Project.

1. Damodar Valley Project

This project was the first to be started in 1948. Its design was based on Tennessee Valley Authority of USA. River Damodar flows from Chhotanagpur to West Bengal. River Damodar used to cause devastating
floods during the summer. Thousands of acres of land were flooded. It was
known as ‘river of sorrow.’ In order to check these floods a series of dams
have been built across river Damodar and its tributaries. The Damodar
Project is spread over the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal. The
Corporation has built multi-purpose dams and power houses at four places—Tilaya, Konar, Panchet and Maithon. A barrage 692 metres long
and 11.58 metres high has been built at Durgapur, 2495 km long canals have been completed. Three thermal power stations at Bokaro, Chandrapur and Durgapur have been constructed. 137 km long navigation canal connects Durgapur with Kolkata.

The D.VC. Projects sets an example towards managing water resources on scientific lines. The total installed capacity of DVC in March 2001 was 2761.5 MW comprising 2,535 of thermal capacity and 144 MW of hydel electricity and 82.5 MW by gas turbine station. 5.5 lakh hectares of land are irrigated under this project. About 3.54 hectares of land has already been brought under irrigation. A total amount o Rs. 150 crores has been spent on this project. The DVC Project helps to utilize the mineral resources of Damodar valley Le. coal and iron. It also helps provide power to major industries located at Jamshedpur, Durgapur, Kulti etc. It also helps in flood control, power generation and development of irrigation.

2. Hirakud Project

This project was taken up in 1948 and was completed in 1957. It is world’s longest mainstream dam. A total amount of 83 crores of rupees was spent on this project. Under this project a dam has been built across river Mahanadi at Hirakud in Orissa. The dam is 4.8 km long and touches the height of 61 metres. It forms a reservoir of 460 km. The dam stores about 810 crore cubic metres of water. Many canals have been taken out at the dam site and the canals irrigate 2.50 lath hectares of land. Nine power houses have been built under this project which produce about 270 megawatt hydroelectricity. The project includes dams at Tikarara and
Naraj also. The project will help in flood control, utilisation of natural and forest resources of Orissa, provide irrigation to fertile land and power to different industries.

3. Tungbhadra Project

This project was completed in 1966. This project is a joint venture of the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka state governments. The Tungbhadra is a tributary of river Krishna. It is formed by joining Tung and the Bhadra streams. A dam has been built across this stream at Mallapuram in Bellary district of Karnataka. The dam is 2441 metres long and 49.33 metres high. A canal has been taken out from its left bank.’ The length of this canal is 225 km. Another canal which is 349 km long has been taken out from its right bank. These canals irrigate about 3.5 lakh hectares of land in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Fourteen power houses have been built near this dam. Eight of them are located on the right and six on the left bank of the stream. These power houses generate 126 megawatts of hydro-electricity.

4. Rihand Project

This project has been built across river Rihand. It is a tributary of river Sone. The dam forms a reservoir over an area of 466 sq. km. with a storing capacity of 1060 crore cubic metres. This reservoir is known as Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar. An embankment has been built upto 160 km from Mirzapur. The dam is 90 metres high and 1020 metres long. The dam supplies water to many canals. The project has been completed at a cost of rupees thirty five crores. About 7 lakh hectares of land is irrigated in U.P. by the canals taken out from this dam. About 500 MW electricity is being generate from 6 units. The Rihand project is mainly a water power development project. It will provide power to aluminium industry at
Renukoot, chemical industries at Pipri, cement industry at Churu
and other industries.

5. The Bhakra-Nangal Project

This is the biggest multipurpose project of India. It is now managed by Bhakra-Beas Management Board which also includes the water impounded at Pong river and that diverted at Pandoh. A dam has been built across the river Sutlej at Bhaki-a situated about 80 km upstream
from Ropar in Punjab. States of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan have benefited from this project. The project has four main features:

(i) The Bhakra Dam. This dam is 226 metres high and 518 metres long. It is the highest gravity dam in the asia. A man-made lake created by this dam is known as Govind Sagar named (after Guru Govind Singh). This reservoir is 8 km wide and 80 km long and has storage capacity of 1000 crore cubic metres. Siwalik hills on either side of the Sutlej form this lake. It is located in the seismic zone.

(ii) The Nangal Dam. This dam is built at Nangal 13 km below the Bhakra Dam. It is 29 metres high and 305 metres long. A canal known as Nangal Hydel channel has been developed from the left bank.

(iii) Power Houses. Two power houses have been built at Bhakra which produce 210 megawatts of hydro-electricity. On the Nangal Canal there are two other power-houses also. They have been built at Ganguwal and Kotla. The total installed capacity of BBMB power plaflts is 2681.15 MW and the generation during 2001 was 10,424 MUs.

(iv) The Nangal Hydel Canal. This is a brick lined canal. It is 64 km long and has been developed at Nangal.

The water of the dam is taken to various states through canals. The chief canal of the network is known as Rajasthan Canal which is 640 km in length and originates from Sutlej at Harike. The canal carries water of Rajasthan where it will convert the desert into greenery when completed.

Benefits. The power houses under this project have a capacity to produce 1204 megawatts hydro electricity, 1100 km long canals and 3400 km long distributaries developed under this project irrigate about 14.8 lakh hectares of land.

6. Kosi Project

This project has been built across Kosi river in Bihar in co-operation with Nepal. River-Kosi is known as ‘sorrow of Bihar ‘The main aim of the project is to control floods. The main canal has been taken off Hanuman Nagar barrage to irrigate 8,73,000 hectares of land.

7. Nagarjuna Sagar Project

It is built on the river Krishna in Andhra Pradesh. The dam had been named after the Buddhist scholar Nagarjuna. It is a 1.5 km long and 25 metres high masonary dam in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. The canals taken out of this river irrigate 8.67 lakh hectares of land. A power house has been constructed with two units of 50 MW each.

8. Chambal Project

This project is a joint venture of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Chambal is a southern tributary of Yamuna river. The project consists of Gandhi Sagar Darn (M.P.), Kota barrage and Jawahar Sagar dam in Rajasthan and Rana Pratap Sagar Dam near Rawat Bhata. The project canals will irrigate 5 lakh hectares of land.

9. Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Limited

It is a hydel power project. It was also mired in controversy for environmental reasons. Located in Tehri Garhwal in Uttaranchal, it will promote and organise hydroelectric projects in Bhagirathi and Bhilangana valley. It will generate 2400 MW of power and irrigate 27000 hectares. The project will also provide drinking water facilities for Delhi. It is expected to be completed by 10th plan period.

10. Narmada Valley Project

Narmada is a major river on the western coast of India. It is a joint river of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Sardar Sarowar Dam has been set up under N armada Control Authority The project was conceived in 1946 hut work started only in 1961. There are many problems of this dam regarding its ultimate height. A large number of tribal villages will be submerged. The rehabilitation of these tribals needs a sympathetic consideration. A Review Committee headed by the Union Minister of Water Resources and with concerned Chief Ministers as members has been set up. Many problems of environment Degradation have made it a controversial dam.

11. Indira Gandhi Canal Project

It is a major irrigation project which was earlier known as Rajasthan Canal Project. It is a bold project to irrigate a large part of Rajasthan desert. It was started in 1957. But in 1984, it was renamed as Indira Gandhi Canal Project in the memory of the late Prime Minister of India.

Aims of the project

(1) To provide water in the N.W. Rajasthan.
(2) To provide drinking water in drought affected areas.
(3) To provide irrigation.
(4) To increase foodgrains production..
(5) To check the advance of Thar desert.

Main outlines of the project:

(1) Indira Gandhi feeder: This canal has been taken off from Harika Barrage the confluence of river Beas and Sutlej in Punjab. It
is 205 km long. The first 150 km are in Punjab, 18 km in Haryana
and the remaining 37 km are in Rajasthan. It is a fully lined
masonary canal. It simply feeds the Indira Gandhi Canal.
(2) Main Indira Gandhi Canal: Its full length is 445 km. It
is 38 metres wide at the bottom and 67 metres wide at the top. It is
6.4 mts. deep. In the first stage, 189 km long main canal has been
(3) Branches and distributaries: This canal has 9 branches and 21. distributaries. 2945 km long distribution system has been completed in the first stage.
(4) Lift canal: In higher areas water will be provided by a series
of lift irrigation system. In the first stage 152 km long Loon Karansar
Bikaner lift canal has been completed. In the second stage 1680 km long lift canal will be constructed.
(5) Water Power Development: Power houses will be constructed at Anoopgarh and Suratgarh on this canal with a capacity of 13 MW.
(6) Cost of the project: Rs. 1371 crore.

Main features of Indira Gandhi Canal Project:
1.. Length of the feeder canal = 205 km.
2. Length of the main canal = 445 km.
3. Length of distribution system = 7745 km.
4. Irrigated Area = 11.81 lakh hectares.
5. Lift irrigation = 3.61 lath hectares.
6. Foodgrains production = 37 lath ton.
7. Total cost of construction = 1371 crore Rs.

Distribution of Minerals in India

The distribution of minerals in India is uneven. There are four chief regions:

(i) N.E. part ofPeninsula including Chota Nagpur plateau
(ii) The central region of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh
(iii) The Southern plateau
(iv) Rajasthan


Iron is the most useful of all metals. It has strength, hardness and magnetic properties. Iron ha become the basis of modem industrialisations. It has revolutionized modern means of land, air, and water transportation. India is rich both in quality and quantity of iron ore deposits. India ranks fifth in the world with 4.1% production of iron-ore after China, Brazil, Australia and Russia. The iron ore deposits mainly consist of hematite and magnetite deposits with an iron content of 60 to 70%.

Production and reserves: India has iron ore reserves about 10,052 million tonnes of haematite and 3,408 miffion tonnes of magnetite. Most of the high grade iron ore (magnetite) deposits are in Bailadila of Madhya Pradesh and Kamataka state. These deposits are the world’s richest and largest deposit.

Distribution of Iron Deposits: Haematite reserves are found in many states but Jharkhand and Orissa produce about 75% of total production of this iron ore in India. This is called ‘ironore bell of India.’ Major steel plants of India are located in this region.
(1) Jharkhand : Noamandi and Gua mines in Singhbhum district and Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand state.
(2) Orissa : Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Bonai districts.
(3) Chhattisgarh : Dhali-Rajhara hills (Durg) and Bailadila (Bastar) in Chhattisgarh state.
(4) Tamil Nadu Salem and Madurai.
(5) Other areas : Baba Boodan Hills and Kudremukh in Karnataka, Kumoll in Andhra Pradesh, Lohara, Ratnagiri and Pipalgaon in Maharashtra, Salem and Tiruchirapaffi in Tan-ill Nadu and Goa.
India exports iron ore to Japan and some other countries. The port of Marmagao, Vishkhapatnam, Paradip and Mangalore handle these exports.


The bauxite deposits in India are widely distributed. India has 2,462 million tonnes total recoverable reserves of Bauxite. About 88% of recoverable reserves are of metallurgical grade. The total production of Bauxite is 70 lakh tonnes. Bauxite is exported to Japan. Aluminium is prepared from Bauxite. It is used in utensils, electrical goods, aircraft manufacturing and chemical industries. It is called champion of me/a/s.
Areas of production. Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are the major producers of Bauxite.
(i) Jharkhand : Palamu, Lohardagga and Ranchi districts in Jharkhand State.
(ii) Gujarat Bhavanagar and Kaira.
(iii) M.P. Surguja, Bilaspur, Kanti and Raigarh (Chhattisgarh).
(iv) Others areas Kolhapur (Maharashtra), Belgaurn (Karnataka), Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu), Goa, Sambalpur (Orissa).


India is deficient in copper and has to depend on foreign supplies. The total reserves are estimated at 5380 lath tonnes. The annual production is nearly 50 lath tonnes.

Areas of production: Copper occurs in crystalline rocks in the peninsular plateau.
(i) Jharkhand : Singhbhum district (Mosabani, Rakha, Dhobani mines)
(ii) M.P. : Balaghat
(iii) Rajasthan : Jhunjhunu (Khetri area) and Koh Dariba Sin Aiwar.
(iv) Other areas : Khamman (Andhra), Hassan and Chitradurga (Karnataka), Sikkim, Kulu (Himachal Pradesh).


India is very poorly placed in regard to the reserves of gold ore. The recoverable reserves are 177.9 lath tonnes with about 68 tonnes of gold metal. The annual production has declined from 7000 kg in 1951 to 2586 kg in 2001.

Areas of production: In India gold is obtained from two sources : lode mining and alluvial sands. Karnataka accounts for most of gold of India. Kolar gold field is the world’s deepest mine. Champion reef, Nandidurg and Mysore reef are deep shaft mines. Ooregum mines have been abandoned -due to great depth (3010 metres) because mining became unsafe. Hutti mines (Richur district) is also being mined. Ramagiri (Andhra), Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu), Kozhikode (Kerala) are other areas. Some gold is found in placer deposits in rivers of Bihar.


Manganese is ferro-alloy metal. It is used in the production of steel. It is used to remove impurities from iron and for hardening the steel. Mining rock crushers, railway lines, cranes, dredging implements are made from Ferromanganese. It is used for making enamel, dry batteries, potter plastics, varnish and bleaching powder.

Production: India has the largest reserves of manganese in the/world, amounting to 1610 lath tonnes. The total production is about 16 lath tonnes. 30% manganese is exported.

Areas of production: In India, manganese is found in areas as given below and obtained from igneous rocks.
(i) Main reserves are located in Orissa followed by Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
Other areas:
(ii) Nagpur and Bhandara districts (Maharashtra).
(iii) Orissa has mines in Gangpur, Kalahandi and Koraput, Bonai, Mayur Bhanj regions.
(iv) Karnataka has Chitardurg-Shimoga region. Chickmaglur, Belgaum, Dharwar dicIs. –
(v) Vishkhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, Singhbhum in Jharkhand, Udaipur in Rajasthait

6. MICA 

Mica is a non-ferrous mineral. It is found in layers in sedimentary rocks. It is a non-conductor of electricity. It has the properties of transparency, flexibility heat resistance and lustre. It can be split into sheets. It is used for insulation in electrical industries, wireless, telegraphy. It is used in radars, aeroplanes, automobiles, radio, tubes. Ground mica is used in paints, rubber, wall paper, medicines, varnish and lubricants.

Production: India is the largest producer of mica accounting for 60% of mica bade in the world. Three types of mica are found in India:
(a) White mica (b) Amber mica (c) Black mica. –
Annual production in 2001 was about 2000 tonnes other than waste mica.
Areas of Production. Andhra Pradesh (Green Mica in Nellore Region), Bihar and Rajasthan.


Other resources of importance include lead and zinc. Main reserves are located in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim. Bentonite, a kind of clay derived from volcanic ash which has the ability to absorb large quantities of water, occurs in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Jammu and Kashmir. Magnesite or magnesium carbonate is found in U.P., Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Phosphate minerals are found in Rajasthan, M.P., U.P. and Gujarat. Rock Salt is found in Sambhar lake area of Rajasthan. India’s Panna diamonds in Madhya Pradesh are also very famous. Uranium, used in nuclear energy is found in Chaibasa district of Jharkhand as well as in Himachal Pradesh.

Conservation and Management of Water Resources

National Water Development Agency

The National Wafer Grid plan envisages interlinking of various northern and southern rivers to divert river water from areas where it is in surplus to deficit areas. A National Perspective Plan for Water Resources
Development was prepared in August 1980 to interlink rivers. In 1982 the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) was also established. A total of 30 water transfer links, 14 in Northern India and 16 in Peninsular India have been identified. Like in the case of power, the Government of India is also seeking private sector participation. The plan has following chief features:
(i) Interbasin water transfer to provide additional irrigation and drinking water facilities.
(ii) By providing interlinks through canals, where necessary through pipes, irrigation potential of about 140 million hectare and 34 million KW power generation will be met.
(iii) A great part of Rajasthan desert can be turned into forest and arable land.
(iv) It will facilitate setting up of large sized thermal power plants to derive economies of scale.

Conservation and Management of Water Resources

Protection, preservation and efficient utilization of water resources is very important for following reasons.

(a) Water scarcity : 90% of rainfall in India is received in four months of July to September. Therefore water is not available throughout the year in many areas. Many parts of the country face drought during summer months. Sometimes monsoon rains also fail. It results in great hardships to people.
(b) Rising Population: It has already been noted in the beginning that per capita consumption of water has come down substantially since 1951 as a result of rapid population growth. Water is therefore critically very important.
(c) Industrialization: Besides for irrigation water is also needed for many industrial uses. In developed countries industrial uses of water are far greater than that for agricultural purposes or human needs. Since India is developing fast its water requirements are also growing.
(d) Vegetation and Wildlife : Water scarcity not only causes drought but also threatens vegetation and wildlife. Besides lakes and streams have their own aquatic life.

Important Conservation Measures

Construction of dams may be useful from the point of view of management of water resources but not environmentally. Dams are not considered environment friendly. Many dams lie in seismic zones, others cause damage to vegetation, change the natural course of rivers and yet others threaten tribal settlements and inundate villages. Some important conservation measures are:

(a) Watershed Management : This involves improving the vegetation cover in each watershed area. Chief purpose is to prevent rapid run off of water and help water go underground in the watershed area. This water can then be used as ground water throughout the year.
(b) Prevent Pollution: Today pollution is presenting greatest danger to vegetation and wildlife through water channels specially when wastes are allowed to flow m rivers and ponds. Polluted water should not be allowed to flow into rivers and lakes.
(c) Desalination : This measure involves using water in salt lakes as well as ocean water in cities near sea coasts. Desalting of sea water needs large amounts of fuel for energy and is therefore very expensive.

Water Harvesting

Water harvesting is now being popularized as a measure to augment or replenish ground water supplies particularly in areas facing the problem of lowering the level of water table. The process is nothing new. Only the ancient wisdom has been put to practice in the present circumstances of water scarcity particularly the ground water. Presently two chief practices of water harvesting are being followed (i) Roof Top Water harvesting and (ii) Check Dams.

(A) Roof Top Water Harvesting: This has been particularly taken up for popularisation in Delhi. Delhi’s ground water development is about 120%.This means that Delhi is using up more water than what is replenished annually by rainfall. Under the scheme rain water is to be collected by citizens on roof tops and allowed to be stored in tanks. This water has to be used chiefly for gardening.

(i) The rain water collected on roof tops is used to improve vegetation cover on ground.
(ii) With the growth of vegetation, the water soaks into the ground and replenishes the ground water supplies.
(iii) There is no run off of muddy or dirty water into drains.
(i) People may use the stored water for washing, sanitation or make industrial use of this water. It may instead of soaking into ground flow into drains and will not promote ground water replenishment.
(ii) If scientific measures are not adopted rain water when used for drinking may cause more harm to peoples health than the tap water.

(B) Check Dams: These are generally natural catchment dams in water deficient areas like in Rajasthan, Western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab. Several schemes are presently in operation. Rain water is allowed to be collected in natural depressions. Artificial bunds are erected to prevent water run off. Rain water is used for irrigation and promoting vegetation cover on ground.

Once the vegetation growth is promoted it creates an accelerating effect to promote more vegetation through soil reclamation, ground water replenishment as well as evapotranspiration. Vegetation cover allows the rain water to soak into the ground in natural course. After sometime there may be no need of catchment dams. The scheme has been put into practice with good results in several areas in Rajasthan, Haryana, and
Western Uttar Pradesh. Thus, our only and most important conservation measure is to improve vegetation cover on land. Other water management measures include preventing water being wasted which takes place in
hundreds of ways, to prevent breaches in canals and tanks as well as to prevent pollution.

Metallic and Non Metallic Minerals

Minerals are found in rocks hidden beneath the surface of the earth in the form of compounds. Minerals have a definite chemical composition comprising one or more elements. The minerals can be identified by their physical and chemical properties. A mineral from which a metal is obtained is called an ore.

Importance of Minerals

Mineral resources are of great importance to man. These are called ‘Gifts of Nature’. Mineral resources have been used since pre historic times, in stone age, in copper age etc. Copper was the first metal to be used. Later on use of iron had revolutionized the life of man. Modern industrial development depends upon the utilization of minerals. Minerals are called ‘Vitamins of Industry Most minerals are inorganic substances. Coal and mineral oil are organic minerals. Minerals are of two types — metallic and non-metallic. All minerals are unevenly distributed over earth.

Metallic and Non Metallic Minerals

1. Metallic minerals are those minerals which can be melted to obtain new products.
2. Iron, Copper, Bauxite, Tm, Manganese, Silver, Gold, Lead, Zinc are some examples.
3. These are generally associated with Igneous rocks.

India is sufficiently rich in mineral resources. They provide the country with the necessary base for Industrial development. India has a fairly rich mineral resource base. It has the potential to become an industrial power on its own. Geological Survey of India (GSI) carries the survey of minerals.

(a) India is rich in iron ore (1/4th, world’s iron ore reserves). India is rich in coal, manganese and limestone. India is rich in bauxite and mica. India exports these minerals.

(b) India is poor in non-ferrous minerals like zinc, lead, copper, gold and sulphur. India is poor in oil and natural gas. India has to import these minerals.

Use, Economic Importance and Conservation of Minerals

Use and Economic Importance

The use of minerals has played a vital part in evolving modern technologies besides being used as raw materials in manufacturing as well as location of industries. Since most minerals at present come from land deposits, their occurrence is of great importance in industrialisation. Iron, chromium, manganese, nickel and some other minerals are regarded as of great strategic importance. India which ranks fourth in production of iron ore has also substantial deposits of many other strategic minerals except mineral oil.

Mineral exports constitute about 50% of India’s total exports. Importance of mineral deposits can also be found in the following:

(a) Development of mining: India has huge population. Mining can be an important activity to absorb large labour force. However much depends on technologies used. India needs to develop efficient technology to avoid wastes and to work the mines economically.

(b) Technological development: At one time plastics was considered as a substitute for many minerals including iron the. This view is now changing due to environmental factors. Natural ores are now again giving in importance. There is need, however, to make many technological improvements to minimise use of natural resources. High technologies can certainly make great contribution towards efficient utilisation of mineral resources.

(c) Development of transport and communications: Occurrence of minerals plays a great role in development of communications and transport. Transport routes not only link mining activity with the markets but play a significant role in development of transport depending on the industrialisation and volume of production as well as trade.

(d) Political influence : Existence of mineral resources was one of the greatest factors responsible for emergence of imperialism and colonisation. Now that all the mineral bearing countries are free, they can play a vital role in emerging political systems. For example, Middle East countries with their vast mineral oil reserves are already playing a key role in many respects.

(e) Landscape : Minerals depend on mining which has a notable effect on landscape changes. Unless efforts are made to improve landscape, exploitation of minerals can be produce many dangerous results.

Conservation of Minerals

All types of mineral are exhaustible resources. Another most serious problem associated with minerals is production and accumulation of wastes at various stages of mining, processing as well as use. Some of the important conservation techniques are the following:

(a) Efficiency in mining: Present technologies are inadequate in terms of their efficiency. Called the technology of benefication, world has yet to evolve a really efficient technology suited to present day environment. For example, in early days of petroleum refining a lot of it was wasted. Now these wastes are used to make many by-products.
(b) Substitutes: Scarce minerals can be substituted by developing biodegradable alternatives. For example, copper was earlier used extensively in electrical industries. But now besides aluminium many other materials are used to save precious metal copper. Similarly many new uses have been found to make low grade coal a substitute for high grade coal.
(c) Recycling: Today world over, mini-steel plants use scrap iron which is one of the best examples of recycling. Recycling also helps reduce wastes. Efficient recycling technologies have yet to be developed. As present recycling is very expensive as well. Problems also arise on account of mixing together of various types of minerals. Otherwise products made from iron, copper, lead, zinc and almost all types of minerals can be recycled.

Most dynamic element in mineral conservation is, however, technology as well as ecosystem management. Assessing the future demand for resources and proper planning is also a conservation technique. It also includes use and disposal of wastes which are today earth’s greatest pollutants of natural systems.

Methods of Irrigation in India

The distribution and utilisation of water-resources for industrial as well as agricultural use can best be described by irrigation. It involves used of water practically for all important purposes — agriculture, industrial uses, power generation, floods and droughts as well as construction of canals, dams and reservoirs. The same methods and sources of water can help solve drinking water problems of Indian villages.

Here again catchment areas or drainage basins of rivers are an important consideration in management of water-resources for all the above mentioned different purposes.

Drainage Basins : As we have learnt in the earlier class that the area drained by a single major river system is called a drainage basin or river basin. A look at the drainage basin map of India would reveal that even in the rocky plateau of peninsula where rainfall is highly seasonal a network of rivers carve out very complex drainage basins which need highly sophisticated engineering skills to undertake irrigation works on modem lines.

Various methods of irrigation are practiced in India. These methods differ according to surface or ground water, types of relief, soils and nature of crops. The canal irrigation is practiced in the alluvial Ganges plain: tank irrigation is used over Deccan plateau, wells are used in other parts of the country. The methods of irrigation can be divided into three major groups:
(1) Canals (2) Wells and Tubewells (3) Tanks

India has huge potential of water resources estimated at 1880 cubic kilometres, but these have not been fully utilized. India has an irrigation potential of 842 lakh hectares. Out of it 742 lath hectares area is irrigated, so that about 42% of total sown area is irrigated.

1. Canals: Canals are the most important source of irrigation in India. India has one of the largest canal systems of the world. It extends for more than 1 lakh km and accounts for about 38% of the net irrigated area.
The canals are of two types:
(a) Inundation Canals: These canals are taken out from the rivers directly without making any kind of barrage. These canals provide irrigation during the rainy season.

(ii) Perennial Canals: These canals are taken from rivers by constructing barrages across the rivers. These supply water throughout the year.
Most of the canal systems are found in the Northern plain and Eastern Coastal plain. About half of  the net irrigated area lies in the states of U.P., Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, West Bengal. Most important perennial canals are Agra Canal, Sharda Canal, Eastern Yanma Canal, Lower Ganga Canal in U.P., Haryana and Punjab, Damodar and Mayarakshi in Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal and Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan. In the Peninsular India canals are found in the deltas o Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu. This has been due to snow-fed Himalayan rivers in the Northern Plains, perennial canals, fertile soils, gradual slope of the plains, demand for irrigation due to developed agriculture.

2. Wells and tube wells: Wells are a very old means of irrigation. They constitute the most important source of irrigation in India. Approximately 358 lath hectares of land in the country is irrigated by means of wells. There are about 50 lath wells in our country.

The largest number of wells in India are found in Uttar Pradesh. Wells irrigation is also in vogue in Punjab, Haryana, N.E. Rajasthan and Maharashtra. There are many reasons for the large number of wells in these areas:
(i) In these areas the cost of digging a well is low.
(ii) The soil is soft and well can be easily dug.
(iii) The water level is high.
Besides the wells, the tube wells are also used for irrigation in India. The first tube well in India worked in 1930. But today there are about 5 lath tube wells in different parts of the country. In addition to hydro-electricity diesel sets are also used for pumping out water for irrigation. The tube wells are largely found in U.P., Haryana, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

3. Tanks: In India about 24 lath hectares on land is irrigated with the help of tanks. Andhra Pradesh leads in tank irrigation and is followed by Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Karnataka. Many natural pits are found in these areas. These pits are turned into tanks by making embankments on their sides. The tanks are filled with water during the rainy season and the water thus stored is taken to the fields by drains.
Tank irrigation is the most widely practiced method of irrigation all over the peninsula because:

(i) The hard rocks do not allow ground water.

(ii) The rivers are not snowfed, they flow only during the rainy season.

(iii) It is cheaper to build tanks; many small streams are dammed to form tanks. But these tanks depend on rainfall. When the rains fail, tanks fail.


Dams harness the surface water resources of rivers. There are 45,000 large darns in 140 countries of the world. Of these 22,000 are in China alone. Other’leading countries are USA (6390), India (4291), Japan (1200) and Spain (1000). In India, out of 4291 dams about 3596 or 73% are located in Western agricultural. states. 90% of the dams are for irrigation only. About 3% of total dams are multipurpose dams. Only 1% are for drinking water supply. Construction of dams has come down from 1190 during 1971-80, 1066 during 1981-90 to 810 during 1991-2000.

Distribution and Utilization of Water Resource in India

National Water Budget

By water budget is meant balance between the potential water resources available and developed. On this account even though substantial ground water resources are utilized. India is a deficit country on account of water resources. The means that our needs are far more than even the potential water resources. India’s total surface water resources are 187 million hectare metres and it has also 43 million hectare metres of ground water potential. Only about 69 million hectare metres can be used by conventional storage and diversion methods like for example dams, canals, ponds. Of the ground water potential about one-third of this potential is being currently utilized. Though these ground water resources are replenishable, there are heavy costs involved because of deep depth at which water is available. On the other side the irrigation potential has increased from 22.60 million hectares in 1951 to about 85 million hectares (2000). Not more than 50 per cent of the Net Sown Area of about 1500 lakh hectares can be brought under irrigation. The constraints are (1) poor management of water supply resources (ii) technological and financial limitations (iii) deep depth of ground water (iv) absence of interlinkages between Himalayan and Peninsular rivers (v) poor flood control and river bank erosion measures. We will later discuss some of the measures being taken for the development and regulation of country’s water resources.


The water budget discussed above is extremely important for resource evaluation and management. Though we often regard water as a renewable resource, in essence it is finite like other resources unless we adopt measures and have proper man-environment relationship, it can be maintained or renewed with careful management. Distribution of water is the first step in sound management. The distribution of water has two main aspects – Domestic use and Irrigation.


Distribution of water for domestic use concerns chiefly making drinking water available to homes. Despite our best efforts, provision of drinking water to villages remains a major issue. At the meeting of the National Water Resources Council (NRWC) held in July 2000, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister it was decided to make provision for setting up River Basin organisations. So we will discuss this under irrigation. In the meantime a crisis like situation has developed in Delhi in respect of water for domestic use. Earlier while discussing ground water-utilisation in the Union Territory of Delhi it has been said that there is over exploitation of ground water resources. It is presently more than 120 per cent. It means that more ground water is being used up than replenished by annual rainfall during the year. Delhi presently uses about 120 percent of its ground water resources. Generally 90% underground water resureces can be used. This means that Delhi uses up 30% of its actual ground water resources annually. As a result the depth of water table goes deeper and deeper. There is danger of large scale subsidence of ground in many heavily inhabited areas. This is not to dramatise the situation but to suggest measures to overcome water crisis in the Union Territory Some of these measures concern distribution and utilization to prevent over exploitation. The most important of all these measures is to give priority attention to revegetation. Many concrete areas and roads have destroyed the seed sources of plants as well as prevented water from going underground. Rainwater harvesting suggested as a water conservation measure may further expose Delhi to severe environmental conditions. In Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as well as in some other cities distribution of water for domestic use is the main concern.