Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Singareni Collieries Company Limited, Kothagudem – Part II

In the year 1870 or a year earlier the natives of a village called Singareni (located in the present Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh) accidentally found that some rocks at a place in their village were capable of catching fire like Charcoal. They had absolutely no knowledge of the underground variety of Coal. As these inflammable rocks were not fully formed Coal (Peat) and were dark grey in color more like stones, they were surprised with their discovery. They named this place as ‘Boggutta’ meaning a ‘Coal hillock’. The news of this discovery reached the then Nizam, the Ruler of Hyderabad State. On the instructions of the Nizam, Dr. King of the Geological Survey of India along with his team mates went to Singareni village and the adjacent Yellandu village in 1871 and discovered large reserves of Coal there. Since then Yellandu, Singareni and Boggutta have become synonymous with Coal mining in a big way. And the important coal seams of every mine in this Company are called after the British rulers as King’s seam and Queen’s seam.

The Hyderabad (Deccan) Company Limited, Incorporated in England, acquired mining rights in 1886 to exploit coal found in Yellandu area. The present company was incorporated in 1920 under the Hyderabad Companies Act, and was floated in the year 1921 as a Public Limited Company with the name 'Singareni Collieries Company Limited' (SCCL or The S.C.Co.Ltd.). It acquired all the assets and liabilities of the Hyderabad (Deccan) Co. Ltd. Best & Co. acted as secretaries and selling agents. The state of Hyderabad purchased majority shares of the Company in 1945. From 1945 to 1949, the Hyderabad Construction Co. Ltd was acting as managing agent. In 1949, this function was entrusted to Industrial Trust Fund by the then Government of Hyderabad. The controlling interests of the Company devolved to the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, pursuant to the reorganization of the States. Thus, the SCCL became a government company under the Companies Act in 1956.

The Singareni Collieries Company Limited has grown in leaps and bounds, operations and production wise. The Company’s mines, Inclines and Open cast mines are at Kothagudem, Yellandu, Manuguru, Bellampalli, Mandamarri, Ramakrishnapur, Ramagundam, Bhoopalpalli and so on, spread over four districts of Telangana, Khammam, Adilabad, Karimnagar and Warangal. And interestingly all these mining areas are not very far from River Godavari. The Company has its Head Office at Kothagudem. The work force of the company at one time was close to 1,20,000 but now with some Inclines closed and more Open cast mines coming up and due to heavy mechanization the employee strength has come down to about 69,000. The total coal production of SCCL in over 100 years is close to 950 million tonnes, until March 2010. Exploration by the Geological Survey of India so far has indicated 16,997 million tonnes of coal reserves in these areas. With such high reserves the Company is bound to contribute to national growth and prosperity for perhaps few more centuries!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are proud to be associated with such a Company with a grand past and a greater future. 

P.S. You may click on the following link to reach several of my photo-articles / blog posts on Kothagudem, Singareni Collieries, Bhadrachalam, Godavari River, Parnashala, Kinnerasani and Papikondalu:


  1. Wow!!!

    Yellandu Club, Vishwaroopa, Durga theatre evoke very nostalgic memories..

    Mahesh Bhogawar

  2. Nice one. I used to visit my grandparents in the 80's. Summer holidays in Kothagudem and rest of the time in Hyderabad. Thank you for sharing.


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