Natural Resources



The role of forest and its produce in the economy and culture of any country is too obvious to warrant any elucidation. Bankura as a district is fortunate in having extensive forest area and it plays a crucial role in imparting a distinct identity to this district in terms of its forest resources and the cultural fabric of people living in close proximity to the forest areas in the district.
Forest land of this district is 148177 ha. which constitutes 21.5% of total geographical area of the district coverage. Latest land use patterns indicate that cultural wasteland stood at 11703 ha. fallow land, other than current fallow at 11101 ha., Current fallow at 16480 ha. and 36692 ha. of Barren and uncultivable land. This land may be made suitable for taking up forestry/ waste land development.

Bankura district forest is pre dominantly Sal and its associated species and plantation forest of Eucalyptus and Akashmoni. Bankura holds one of the best quality of Sal forest in West Bengal particularly at Radhanagar, Sonamukhi and Patrasayer and the entire Bishnpur sub-divisional jurisdiction. Its flora bio-diversity increased substantially over time.
From the geographical , socioeconomic & environmental consideration, the district offers lot of scope for development of this activity . In view of Govt. supports for development of this sector, long term potential for development through credit may be estimated at 2500 hect. for next 5 years with annual phasing of 500 ha.
Infrastructure :-

The district is covered under the programmes of National Waste Land Development Board. IWDP is being implementation in 7 blocks viz. Indpur, Chhatna, Saltora, Khatra, Hirbundh, G.Ghati and Ranibandh. Various schemes and projects like NREGS,13th Finance Commission, CSS Elephant Project are being implemented to improve the living conditions of the forest fringe area population. Elephant depredation is a very major problem in Bankura in view of very fast growing elephant population and seasonally moving elephant start straying back in Bankura for longer time and the number of residential elephants have also increased significantly. All-out efforts are being made with the help of local forest protection committee to tackle the problem with a human face to mitigate the problem and it is an on-going process.

State Govt. has implemented social forestry project in the district covering roadside, riverside, railway embankment plantation etc. West Bengal forest development corporation, pulpwood development corporation are also working for forest and wasteland development in the district during the past years. Govt. has stressed for biotic plantation distribution of seeding etc. in the district.

Forest of the district is divided into three divisions. On an average of 20% of forests are barren of degraded . Under State and Central sponsored programmes, rejuvenation and or re-plantation are taken to an average of 1500-1600 ha. per year. In coming five years 2000 ha. is also expected to be developed with non-timber forest. However bank credit may flow to the privately owned land only and no private land is categorized as forest land. Development of the activity only on cultivatable Waste Land and Swallow Land is therefore may be feasible through bank credit and long term potentials may be worked out.


Soil of Bankura district can be broadly grouped into three principal types (Groundwater Resources Assessment and Management of the Bankura District, CSME, 1993) viz. (1) Red Soil (2) Alluvial Soil and (3) Laterite Soil. Typical red soil has limited distribution in the south central, south-eastern and south western parts of the district around Bishnupur, Kotulpur and Raipur blocks respectively. They are the red coloured sedentary soil (i.e. those formed from residual parent materials) found mainly on laterites supporting Sal vegetation. They are also found along the margins of small hills bare of vegetation. They are free from CACO3, low in Base Exchange capacity and have a highly unsaturated base. They may be derived from laterites by a process of resilicification by ascending ground water but cannot be grouped either as laterites or laterite soil.

Brown soils from a group within this class which are also sedentary in nature, mainly derived from rocks like sandstone, granite gneiss and schists. The alluvial soils, which have wide distribution in the east-central and southeastern parts of the district, are grouped according to soil association as Damodar-Rajmahal riverine, Damodar flatlands, Damodar highlands etc.

The older alluvial amongst them is unaffected by floods and siltation and show profile development, whereas the younger or newer alluvial, found mostly in the Damodar flatland areas are enriched by silt deposition during floods. Such areas are characterised by high water table, a heavy sub-soil and occurrence of brown concretion at lower depths.

The laterite soils have wide distribution in the south-central to the south western part of the district. Such soils are distinguished from the red soils by the occurrence of ferruginous concretions in a definite layer, whereas in the red soils they are distributed throughout the profile.

According to the textural types, soils of the district can be classified under the following types : (1) Sandy (2) Sandy Loam (3) Loam (4) Sandy Clay Loam (5) Clay Loam (6) Clay.

Clay, clay dominated loam and loamy soils are mostly confident to the flood plains of the Damodar and the Dwarkeswar rivers through sporadic occurrences. This type of occurrences is also seen in other small river valleys. The district as a whole is covered generally by sandy loam.

Soil series association formed mapping units represented by symbol in number 1,2 etc. The mapping units are briefly described below.

Physiographic Unit

Soil series Association

Series Description

Area (ha)

Flood plain


Deuli: Very deep, sandy on A (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Typic Ustipsamment.

Dulaidi: Very deep, loamy sand to sandy loam (coarse-loamy) Parentheses show texture of Soil Control Section (25-100 cm) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) Slopes Typic Ustifluvent.


Physiographic Unit

Soil series Association

                          Series Description

Area (ha)

Flood plain

Dulaidi Dayalpur

Dulaidi : Very deep, loamy sand to sandy loam (coarse loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes Typic Ustifluvent.

Dayalpur : Very deep, clay loam (fine-loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes Typic Haplaquepts.


Lower alluvial plain

Kantaban Dayalpur

Kantaban : Very deep, clay loam to clay (fine) on A (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes Typic haplaquepts. Typic Haplaquepts.

Dayalpur : Very deep, clay loam (fine loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Typic Haplaquepts



Ramsagar Dayalpur

Ramsagar: Very deep, clay (fine) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Vertic Haplaquepts. Typic Haplaquepts.

Dayalpur: Very deep, clay loam (fine loamy) on B (1-3%) to (3-5%) slopes-Typic Haplaquepts



Joyrambati Tanadighi

Joyrambati: Very deep, clay loam (fine loamy) on (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Typic Haplaquepts.

Tanadighi: Very deep clay loam to clay (fine) on A (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes Vertic Orchraqualfs




Kantaban: Very deep, clay loam to clay (fine) on (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Typic Haplaquepts                                                 

Tandighi : Very deep , clay loam to clay (fine) on (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Typic Ochraqualfs.



Dulaidi- Tanadighi

Dulaidi : Very deep loamy sand to sandy loam (coarse loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes typic Ustifluvent.                         

Tanadighi : Very deep, clay loam to clay (fine on  (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Typic Orchraqualfs.


Upper undulating alluvial plain

Mrigindihi – Taldangra

Mrigindihi: Very deep, sandy loam to sandy clay loam (fine-loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Ultic paleustalfs.

Taldangra: Moderately deep clay loam to sandy clay loam (lomy skeletal) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Plinthustalfs. 




Ranga: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy clay (clayey-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes Lithic Ustochrepts.               

Taldangra: Moderately deep clay loam to sandy clay loam (lomy skeletal) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Plinthustalfs  




Bhulanpur: Deep, sandy clay loam on laterite mass (fine loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes Udic Haplustalfs.        

Mrigindihi: Very deep, sandy loam to sandy clay loam (fine loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Ultic paleustalfs




Phulkusuma:  Moderately deep, sandy clay loam to sandy clay (fine-loamy) on lB (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Haplustalfs.

Bhulanpur: Deep, sandy clay loam on laterite mass (fine loamy ) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Haplustalfs.                                                                                     




Bhulanpur: Deep, sandy clay loam on laterite mass (fine loamy ) on B (1-3$) to C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Haplustalfs.         

Taldangra: Moderately deep clay loam to sandy clay loam (lomy skeletal) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Plinthustalfs.


Low dissected plateau


Bhangucha: Very deep, sandy loam to sandy clay loam (fine-loamy) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Ustochrepts.                                                                                        

Ranga: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy clay (clayey-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes-Lithic Ustochrepts.




Kese: Very deep, sandy clay loam to sandy clay (fine loamy) on C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Haplustalfs.                                           

Ramsagar: Very deep, clay (fine) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Vertic Haplaquepts.




Kese: Very deep, sandy clay loam to sandy clay (fine loamy) on C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Haplustalfs.                                           

Kharujhar: Very deep, sandy clay loam (fine-loamy) A (0-1%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Udic Ustochrepts.




Hatikheda: Very deep, clay loam to clay (Clayey-Loamy) A (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Udic Ustoochrepts.                           

Hariharpur: Very deep, sandy loam to sandy clay loam (fine loamy) on A (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Udic Haplustalfs.


Low dissected plateau


Hatikheda: Very deep, clay loam to clay (Clayey-Loamy) A (0-1%) to B (1-3%) slopes-Udic Ustoochrepts.                           

Ramsagar: Very deep, clay (fine) on B (1-3%) to C (3-5%) slopes-Vertic Haplaquepts.



Asugaria – Ranga

Asugaria: Shallow, gravelly sandy loam soil (loamy-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes-Typic Ustorthents.              

Ranga: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy clay (clayey-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes Lithic Ustochrepts.



Bara Amjora-Ranga

Bara Amjora: Deep, sandy loam to clay loam (fine loamy) on B (1-3%) to D (5-10%) slopes-Ultic Haplustalfs.                

Ranga: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy clay (clayey-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes Lithic Ustochrepts.


Residual hillocks, mounds and pediments


Lohamara: Shallow, gravelly sandy loam (loamy-skeletal) on D (5-10%) to E(10-15%)slopes-Lithic ustorthents.           

Asugaria: Shallow, gravelly sandy loam soil (loamy-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes-Typic Ustorthents.



Lohamara– Ranga

Lohamara: Shallow, gravelly sandy loam (loamy-skeletal) on D (5-10%) to E(10-15%) slopes-Lithic Ustorthents.        

Ranga: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy clay (clayey-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes Lithic Ustochrepts.




Harmashra: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy loam (loam-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to E (10-15%) slopes-Typic Ustorthents.

Ranga: Moderately deep, gravelly sandy clay (clayey-skeletal) on C (3-5%) to D (5-10%) slopes Lithic Ustochrepts.                                                                                       





Mejhia (23033’-23038’:86059’-87007’) and Borjora (23025’-23007’:87012’-87018’) area. In Mejhia , Coal occurs in Raniganj formation whereas in Borjora, it occurs in Barakar formation. Major part of the surface of Borjora coalfield is occupied by alluvium and laterite which are considerably thick at places (up to 35m.) . Carbonaceous shales and thin coal seams were reported in well sections and latter proved by drilling. A total of 9 coal / carbonaceous shale horizons were encountered within a maximum thickness of 244m of Barakar strata. Of the 9 horizons, 4 were found to have coal portion amounting to more than a meter, maximum thickness of coal being 2.97m.

Coal of this field belong to high volatile, high ash, non-cocking types with moisture between 4.5 and 6.0% including bands ash percentage between 32 and 40 and expand ash up to 35%.

The calorific values vary between 4320 and 52.50. Thickness including bands and partings is seen to attain a figure as high as 8.33m. The occurrence of seams at shallow depth and the suitability of high ash coal for thermal power plant proposal in Bankura district makes this field exploitable now.

In Mejhia, the proved-reserve is 13.14 million tones and the indicated reserve being 197.37 million tones according to the Geological Survey of India.

In Borjora area, the proved reserve is 12 million tones (G.S.I.)

China Clay :

A number of good deposits of china clay occur within latitudes 22046’ and 22034’ and longitudes 86030’ and 87029’. Two types of deposits have been reported, one associated with the Archaeans and the other associated with tertiaries.

Deposits associated with the Archaeans:

Kharidungri (22057.5’:86048.5’) Jhariakocha (22047’: 86049’) Peripathar (22058’: 86048’) areas: The deposits are about 45 Kms. from the Bankura Rly. Station and are connected with it by a motorable road. Clay occurrences are recorded near the fault zone marked by fault breccia in the hillocks north east of Bagjabra (22057’:86047’), south east of Peripathar and north of Jhariakocha. The clay is white coloured with stains of yellow and pink and is gritty.

The clay near Bagjabra is cream white in colour containing about 60% grit. It has been reported to be suitable for pottery industry after washing. The kharidungri clay in the middle portion of this zone is cream white in colour, hard, non-gritty and phuyllitic, having a poor plasticity. The reserve estimated so far from these areas over one million tones.

Beriathol (23030’: 8701’) – Dhatala (23029’: 86059’) – Ghanaban (23031’: 87003’) areas: Clay pockets of more than 1.52m in thickness are found near Beriathol village which is about 16 Km. from Raniganj and 6.4 Km. north of Kusthalia. The clays have probably been formed by decomposition of feldspars of anorthosites. The clay is slightly gritty, high plastic and pale cream to pale buff in colour. A reserve of about 0.32 million tonnes have roughly been assessed so far. It may be used as filler and also for pottery industry after proper treatment.

The Dhatla clay is dull white and moderately plastic and fired colour at 14500C is light green colour with brown specks. Fired shrinkage is 16%. Clay also has been located in the north and east of Ghanaban.

Manipur (23005’: 87000’): Clay beds of 1.22-1.52 m thickness under an overburden of 2.74 to 4m occur 800 m northeast of Manipur village, which is about 23 Km. from Bankura. The colour is pale white, fired colour-light grey. Total reserve estimated is about 0.59 million tonnes. It has been reported that this clay when blended with Kharidungri type of clay (50:50) yields a perfect white burning product suitable for any type of white ware including porcelin.

Siarbada (23008’: 87002’): Clay occur under an overburden of about 1 m of laterite and latiritic pebbles, about 400 m east of the village Siarbada which is about 23 Km from Bankura. The clay is pale buff, non-gritty, soft and highly plastic, fired colour-light grey, shrinkage-36%. It may be suitable for stoneware terracotta.

Tilasuli: A pocket deposit has been found to the south and SSE of Tilasuli village under a varying thickness of lateritic overburden. The clay is hard, non-gritty and highly plastic. It is pale pink to pale cream in colour, fired colour light grey to brick red. This clay appears suitable for use in pottery and also for stoneware and terracotta.

Bhanda (23004’: 87002’) – Beldangra (23004’: 87001’) – Paryandang (23003’: 87000’) – Nutungram (23002’: 87000’) : These are thick deposit off colour clays. The clays are red, yellow, grey and white in colour. The top portions are generally stained yellow, brown, red and pink. The colour and quality of clays improved at depth. Total reserve estimated is about 9.13 million tonnes of low-grade variety.

Raipur (22047’: 86057’) – Hariharganj (22049’: 86055’) areas: The kaolinised pegmatites occur to the north-west and NNW of the old fort of the Hariharganj, south of Panari village. The clay beds varying in thickness from 2-6 m, contain intercalation of sand partings. These have formed by alternation of granite and pegmatites. The Hariharganj clay is non-gritty, yellowish white, fired colour white. This clay may be used in the manufacture of stoneware and terracotta. Reserve of clay in Raipur-Hariharganj area is 3.15 million tones.

Radhamadav – Kunjagarh (22049’: 86056’) : The clay of this area occurs as intercalation of sand partings and have been formed by alteration of granite and pegmetites. It is heavily stained and gritty near the surface but is white at a depth of 1.5-3 m. This clean clay could be used for making earth ware, stoneware, sanitary-ware and low tension insulators provided it is blended with at least 25% of fat or more plastic clays to make it workable. Total reserve estimated about 3.75 million tonnes.

Dalembhija (22054’: 86056’) : This clay occurs at 800 m ESE and southeast of Dalembhija village which is about 56 Km from Bankura. The clays occurring, as pockets under a lateritic cover of 1-2.4 m are associated with weathered and laterised mica-schist. At places ferruginous bands are found within the clays. The clays have been formed by kaolinisation of sericitic phyllite and other rocks. This clay is slightly sandy and reddish white in colour. This clay is suitable for all types of white wares including bone china. Total reserve is about 4.47 million tonnes.

Tipam (22057’: 86058’) – Lakhyatapal area: The clay bands 60 cms. to 1 m thick occur in pockets over an area, 91.4 m long and 13.7-41.2 m wide, under 60 cm-1.2m thick overburden of lateritic soil near a small nala about 400 m S.E. of Tipam village which is about 53 Km from Bankura. The clay is stained, cream coloured, has good plasticity and its colour when fired at 12500 C is cream. It appears suitable for use in potteries, but the deposit is small.

Deposits associated with Territories :

Dhunara (23026’: 87015’) Khair Kanali (23017’30”: 8700’00”) areas: White lithomargic type of clay with an exposed thickness of 1.22 to 3.2 m and a laterite capping of 2.13-2.43 m has been found in the nala cutting west of the village Dhunara which is about 3 km from Belboni. The grayish clay occur 400 m west of the village Khair Kanali.

The Dhunara clay is dull grayish white with good plasticity. It takes maroon brown colour at 12500C with 14% shrinkage and fair vitrification. It appears suitable for pottery making. The Khairkanali clay may be suitable for stoneware and terracotta manufacture.

Kanchanpur (23023’: 87013’) Jambedia (23023’: 87016’) area: China clay has been found at a depth of 2.44 m in two tanks in the village Kanchanpur about 10 Km north of Beliatore and 13 Km SW of Durgapur Ghat. It is also reported that large quantity of yellowish clay is available further east, near Jambedia on the Baliator-Durgapur Ghat road, and the industries like tiles, pipe and potteries may utilize these clays.

Occurrence of clay have also been reported from Ghutgarya (23026’: 87015’) and Sonergram (23025’: 87017’).

Other Mineral Resources :

Strategically important mineral occurrences in the area in decreasing order of importance are of tungsten, copper and lead in the south western corner of the district. Coal deposits associated with Gondwana sediments in the north western tip of the district could be economically important. China clay pockets are most prolific in the area; numerous pockets of china clay are concentrated mainly along the contact of mica-schist / granites and quartzite trending approximately in the NE-SW direction. Several occurrences of mica, quartz-feldspar, and vermiculite, possibly associated with pegmatite along this china-clay-trend are also there in the area. Other minerals reported from the district include dumertierite, quartz, magnetite, quartizite, decorative stones, dolomite limestone, gravel and road metal. In fact the vast quartizite terrain covering the eastern side of the district could provide additional resources for road metals and building stones.


The Geology of this district has been studied mainly by the G.S.I. where as the State Directorate and others have carried out geological mapping in only selected parts. The tentative stratigraphic succession of the district has been suggested as follows:





Recent to Sub-Recent Pleistocene

Alluvium and residual soil Laterites, lateritic gravels.






Gritty to medium grained ferruginous sandstones and gravels, coarse, yellowish feldspathic sandstones occasionally with clays.





Triassic (Upper Gondwana)

Supra-Panchet Sandstones of Biharinath hills.





Permo-Carboniferous (Lower Gondwana)

Sandstone and shale with coal seams both in the Raniganj formation and in the Barakar formation





Lower Palaeozoic to Purana

Quartzite of Susunia hill and the quartizite gritty sandstone near Beliator.






Dolerite, pegmatite, aplite and vein quartz. Granite, granite gneiss, norite, anorthosite, amphibolite, epidiorite, pyroxene-granulite. Para-gneisses and schist, Calc-silicates, calc-schist, quartz-schist, mica-schist, hornblende schist, gneisses, quartzite, Calc-granulite with dolomitic and crystalline limestone etc.

The greater part of the district consists of a rolling country composed of laterite and alluvium. To the east there is a wide plain of recent alluvium while gneisses and schist of Archaean age are found in the extreme west, which form the eastern boundary of similar rocks in Chhotonagpur. Sedimentary rocks of Gondwana system, forming the southern part of the Raniganj coalfield, occur in the extreme north of the district between Mejia and the Biharinath hill and contain some useful coal seams.