Peat also occurs in the Kashmir valley in a few patches in the alluviam of the Jhelum and in swampy ground in the higher valleys where it is composed of the debris of several kinds of acquatic vegetation, grasses, sedges and rushes.
Occurences of peat beds at depths ranging from the 1.8 to 11 m have been noted in Calcutta and its suburbs. The peat in Howrah appears to be detrital in character showing that it accumulated in a large marsh or lake which has since been silted up and is now traversed by the Hooghly River.
In the delta of Ganga there are layers of peat composed of forest and rice plants. In the numerous Jhils of this delta, peat is in the process of formation and is used as manure. Deposits of peat are in course of formation in the valley of Nepal and other places in the Himalayas.
Coal mining industry in India is facing a lot of problems. Some of the major problems confronting the coal mining are discussed as under:
1. The distribution of coal is uneven. The major coal producing areas are confined to Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and West Bengal. Most of north plain and western parts of India are deprived of coal.
2. The most serious problem faced by Indian Coal industry is lack of suitable transport. Almost 60% of coal is carried by the Railways and non-availability of wagons very often leads to accumulation of stocks at pit heads and acute shortage at consuming areas involves high transport cost to carry heavy commodity like coal over long distances. Consequently, the coal consuming industries have to pay much higher prices for coal.
3. Indian coal has high ash content and low caloric value. The ash content varies from 25 to 40 per cent and some times exceeds 40 per cent. This reduces the energy output of coal and complicates the problem of ash disposal.
4. A large percentage of coal is taken out from underground mines where theproductivity of labour and machinery is very low. This has stagnated at an output per man shift (OMS) of 0.55 tonnes for the last two decades despite massive investments made in modernisation of underground mines. The underground mines employ 80 per cent of the man power, but contribute only 30 per cent of the total output. The per tonne production cost has increased from Rs. 50 in 1973-74 to Rs. 350 in 1995-96.
5. There are heavy losses due to fires in the mines and at pit heads. Pilferage at several stages also add to losses. This leads to hike in price of coal and sets off a vicious circle of price spiral in the economy.