Bihar has a large quantity of high quality granite deposits available at an affordable price. The granite is mostly used to give a different look to the house and other buildings and are available in various colours, including pink, yellow, red, grey, black and others. Traced in Bihar, the multicoloured granites have the potential to become a rage in the architecture world and export-oriented granite industry can be developed in the state.
A number of best quality granite deposits are found in five districts of Gaya, Nawada, Jehanabad, Jamui and Banka. Once granite mining is done extensively and its industries are developed properly it can help in solving the problems of extremism facing the state in the absence of development and employment opportunities.
Around 30 known deposits of decorative stones have been explored in these five districts where 67.99 million cubic metres granite deposits have been found. These deposits include best quality granite of about 32.04 million cubic metres.
Historical records reveal that the use of rocks and stones in Bihar dates back to the ancient period of Emperor Ashoka.
The manually carved out and excellently polished cave of Lomas Rishi in the Barabar hills of Jenahabad district is built up of granite. The inner walls of the granite caves are embellished with beautiful sculptures.
In Banka and Nawada districts multi-coloured granites are found while in Jamui and Jehanabad the colour of the granite is grey. In Gaya, grey and buff coloured granites are available. With sizeable potential areas of granite and other rock deposits, Bihar can break the monoploy of South India in mining, processing and export of granite.
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are the major suppliers of granite. Similarly Orissa, Rajasthan and Gujarat are getting encouraging results of their efforts to develop granite as an industry.
Under the existing granite conservation and development rules the industries are bound to take remedial measures to minimise the environmental problems due to mining of the decorative granites.
The miners have to create a green belt around the quarries, simultaneous plantation on vacant land, use of appropriate equipment to control air, sound and water pollution and systematic and scientific exploitation of granites.
Apart from granite Bihar is also rich in limestone deposits as about 210 million tonnes of limestone has been found in Rohtas and Kaimur districts where the deposits are spread over the length of 25 km and 500 metres in width.
The revenue generation from mines and minerals kept on increasing since the bifurcation of the state in the year 2000. In the 2001-02 the revenue generated from mines and minerals stood at Rs 40.95 crore, while it was Rs 57.51 crore in 2002-03, Rs 65.58 crore in 2003-04, Rs 75.81 crore in 2004-05 and Rs 96.38 crore in 2006-07. In the last fiscal the revenue generation was recorded at Rs 117.42 crore.